What Did You Bring
When You Came
to "Minister" to Me?
When you came to visit me, what did you bring
To this mother with her child whose life is now at stake?
Tell me, what did you risk with your vain offering
To shoot the breeze, whine, laugh awhile - was this all a mistake?
Before you came, were you prayed up,
before God plied out?
Or winded from your errands,
self-imposed guilt trips,
keeping up your score card?
What did you really give of yourself that made this visit hard?
What did the woman bring to Jesus when she cried and brought perfume?
Do you think the fragrance of her love for Him might have filled that room?
Did you bring His love? Did you bring His concern?
Or were we just on your list of things to do, and your time to burn?
Did you bring genuine joy? Did you bring your tears?
Did you bring your heartfelt angst for our loss of all these years?
Why did my spirit then not feel nourished,
Ministered to, nurtured, nor tended inside
With reminders that my son's soul would always flourish
And that his Lord would always be by his side?
For when you never lovingly mentioned my Lord's name,
I had to wonder then, why was it that you came?
For while my precious boy's life was under the surgeon's knife,
Why did my heart weep inside just to have peace and quiet
For time before my God to mourn that yet another child might perish
While you, your jokes and quips that only you seemed to relish,
Harped on and on, and just wasted that sacred, precious time?
Did you really think it would be helpful simply to distract?
Was I supposed to be wowed by your distasteful act...
Did you bring a "role" that you simply played
Because, to be quite honest, my spirit felt splayed
As you bragged that in a hospital you could simply waltz right in,
The power of your "role" you bragged about, all to my chagrin.
To be quite frank, I didn't want you there;
I wanted a gentle Lamb, like my Savior, there
Who would cry with me over Satan's wiles
To hurt my child with his feckless guiles
To take a child, a new father, in his prime
To the edge of the brink, to look down into death's slime?
Did you think to mourn with me with reminders that God is here
Though we don't understand the whys as we shed each and ev'ry tear?
So, please, before you bring your next offering,
Please hear this mother's plaintive cry,
Ask Him first, what He would have you bring
To show the Suffering Servant's heart when next you do stop by.
For there is no ministry without suffering
When you properly reflect the Man of Sorrow, acquainted with grief,
Then His suffering love will be reflected in the poured-out offering,
Bringing the griever, Love Himself's heart of sweet relief.
You will find you'll no longer run from our suffering,
For the Savior ever draws near with His sweetest comforting.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake,
so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,
we do not lose heart.
But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways.
We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word,
but by the open statement of the truth we would
commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God...
For what we proclaim is not ourselves,
but Jesus Christ as Lord,
with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
For God, who said,
"Let light shine out of darkness,"
has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay,
to show that the surpassing power belongs to God
and not to us.
2 Corinthians 4:8-12,1-2,5-7 (ESV)