“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 (NIV)
Cora was a four-year old little girl I visited in the hospital who had questions about God. Her mom confessed that she knew hardly anything about God. When I talked to Cora about her questions: “Who is God, where does He live; what does He do?”
Call him, "Mr. Tattoo." His whole body was covered with tattoos like Queequeg in the novel, Moby Dick. Some of the tattoos were pornographic. I would see most of them as he rested on his hospital bed in his gym shorts. His skin was a deep brown color because his father was from Spain, and his mother was an Apache Indian. His hair was long and bushy. With black and gray streaks, his hair stuck out straight like an Aboriginal bushman. His bushy beard was massive, and his eyes bulged brightly. This wild-looking man in his 30s had asked for a chaplain visit. A bit uneasy because of his looks, I sat down at a safe distance.
As a hospital chaplain, I have visited people from numerous Christian denominations and non-Christian belief systems. I have ministered to people of different races, of different cultures, of various sexual preferences, and even several transgender people. As a hospital chaplain, I strive to accept each individual as a fellow human being deserving of dignity, equality, and respect.
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Gal. 5:7)
Ina was a native American with great athletic skills who loved to play softball. However, when her doctor told her that she could no longer play ball, she became very discouraged, lost hope, and attempted suicide. While she was in the hospital, I was asked to help.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1).
Before Jesus spoke these words from the cross, they were spoken by a shepherd boy turned King. When I hear David cry out in anguish these words strike home. While I can’t relate to him as a King and all the strange events in his life, I can empathize with his anguish. At least three of his children have died. Another was raped by her stepbrother.