In the town I serve as pastor, a house caught on fire. The house is a complete loss. The family and pets are fine. I went to the scene of the fire to see how I could help the family. They are not a part of the church but they are a part of the community.
The first was about one block from the my house and the church so I walked down. By the time I arrived the fire department was there and people were scurrying everywhere. I looked for the family and they were safe, pets were safe, and I asked if they needed a place to stay, clothes, food, etc… but they were already taken care of. So I asked if I could pray for them. Every member of the family said no (never had a person turn down prayer before). I checked with the Fire Department supervisor and they had brought in a Fireman Rehab unit that had water, and snacks for the fireman.
So here I stood, unable to help the family, unwelcome to pray with the family, not needed to help the fireman. Honestly I felt totally impotent. There was nothing I could do. Or at least there was nothing I knew to do.
I don’t want to downplay the tragedy the family just endured but this feeling of being a leader and not being able to do anything that helps. Maybe it is a superman-complex or maybe it is just the reality of the situation that sometimes I can’t fix the problem, no matter how much I want to.
How do I as a pastor bring Christ to a situation like that? How do I remind people that Jesus is already there in a situation like that?
If you have an answer, I would love to read it in the comment section.