Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


The Beauty of Irrelevance

Every so often I become afraid that what I am doing with my life is totally irrelevant.

It happened yesterday.  I had shown up on the doorstep of the home of a hospice patient for a previously scheduled appointment.  Only two days earlier we had agreed on that day and that time, and so there I was, ringing the doorbell to an empty house.

It was the second time in only two weeks that this chaplain had found herself stood up.

I called the patient’s caregiver who of course apologized profusely and asked if we could reschedule.  They were off having lunch somewhere and had just forgotten, nothing more.  And they did feel terrible and I, of course, was quick to reassure them that they had a lot on their minds and not to worry in the least.  (They did have a lot on their minds after all.)

When I walked back to my car and turned the key in the ignition, I thought, “Does what I do make any difference in people’s lives?  Is it relevant?”

I didn’t answer the question for fear of what the answer might be.

But maybe the truth is that God doesn’t ask us to be “relevant.”  Maybe God only asks us to be faithful- true, that is, to who God calls us to be wherever we’re planted.

For every moment that I’ve been stood up as a chaplain, there have been those times when someone has reached out with great appreciation, or remembered a kind deed, or shared something deep within them that they’ve never shared before.  In those times, it wasn’t my own inherent “relevance” that made the difference- it was the synergy of God’s timing and my positioning that made all the difference.

Maybe the issue of relevance is really an irrelevant one.



Previous Posts

The Lie of Invulnerability
This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider...and just when I thought it couldn't get worse...viral pinkeye. Two puffy, leaky, r

posted 11:00:49am Sep. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Humor Relief for Religious Extremism
Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these days in the form of ISIS and its affiliates). The Palestinian televis

posted 10:36:57am Sep. 03, 2014 | read full post »

"AA" Recovery Groups—Spirituality for the Non-Religious, Hope for the Church?
[caption id="attachment_5326" align="alignleft" width="271"] Bill Wilson co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob Smith in 1935. Their affectionately called "Big Book" is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold more than 30 million copies since its publication. (Photo credit: Haze

posted 11:27:26am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Thoughtful Christians—They're Around, Via Fare Forward
The cover story from the latest (July/August) issue of Christianity Today offers a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom that often accom

posted 2:39:15am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

New Job, New Book
You may have noticed that I've not shown up at this intersection during the last week or so.  A new job, and, with the new job, the promise of a new book projec

posted 2:49:05am Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.