As a hospital chaplain, I often walk into to rooms of pain or uncertainty or waiting. I offer presence. I offer ears. Sometimes I offer conversation or counsel. And sometimes I say, “Would it be okay if I pray?”
You may think that I should always ask that last question. Perhaps you are right. But I’m not sure that my calling in each room is to pray out loud. I am sure that I have a responsibility for what Eugene Peterson calls “the cure of souls.” (I wrote about this once.) And that is a responsibility that involves listening in each room for what people are saying and for what God is saying.
This week, a couple of my correspondents will be writing here about work. A couple months back, one of them said he was reading The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. In a completely separate conversation, the other said he was reading Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller. Both books address the ideas of work and calling and connecting our conversations with God and the work of our hands. I asked each of them to write a post about the book and a post about how it connects to them.
I trust you will find their words, and books, helpful.
And as we start this week, would it be okay if I prayed?
Father God, my friends need to know that you know them and know of them. As we all begin our weeks, thank you for the time we have, for the energy you give us. In this week after Pentecost, make us aware of you by the power of your Spirit. And in the same way Jesus did good work, help us to work well. With our tasks and with people.
May it be so.