By Ernie Weatherholtz, ELCA Stewardship Coach and a member of the South Carolina Synod Stewardship Committee
When I was a young Captain with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, my mother-in-law had a brain tumor, and my father-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia. They still had two sons in high school, and my father-in-law owned a masonry contracting company in Charleston. In order to help with the family business, I resigned my Regular Army Commission, received an Army Reserve Commission, and left the security of my government job.
In all of my years working in stewardship positions with the church, senior executive management in government and private sector business, political appointee with the Reagan Administration & U. S. Army, I have found that relationship must exist with our brothers and sisters as we walk life’s paths together, with the members of the church and our congregation, with community serving others and with God.
In the Gospel of Luke 5:18-19, “Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.” These men went to extraordinary methods and means to help a friend receive healing and forgiveness. This is an extraordinary witness to a relationship between these men and their paralyzed friend and as a result, each of these men with God.
Khalil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League. Gibran authored the book The Prophet. He speaks to friendship in this writing: Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
In giving friendship and serving others, we deepen our friendship with God and our hearts are drawn ever nearer to God.
This article has been reprinted from March-April 2016 edition of The South Carolina Lutheran magazine. Subscriptions to the magazine are $10.00 for 6 issues annually. To subscribe send your name, address and check made payable to the “South Carolina Synod, ELCA” to 1003 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.