One of the essential responsibilities of the pastor is to visit the sick. Recently, I set out for the ICU to visit a man who was recovering from complications brought about by a heart attack. I arrived at the front desk only to be told by the nurse that he was upstairs for tests and wouldn't be down for a while, but that his daughter was in the room waiting for him to return. So I went in and introduced myself to her as the pastor of a church where her mother and father occasionally visit with friends.
She was thrilled to meet me and so appreciative that I would come to visit her dad. We hugged, then I assured her that there were a lot of people praying for her father. As we waited together we began to talk about the weather, grandchildren, how the Miami Heat were playing, etc. We were having a great time getting to know each other.
Finally, I asked her about a particular therapy I knew they had planned for her father. "My father isn't receiving that therapy," she said, tilting her head slightly and staring curiously at me.
"Oh, well...umm...," I fumbled, "I'm pretty sure that's what I was told."
Then she asked, "What was the last name of the man you came to visit today?"
Yikes! The receptionist had given me the room number of another man with the same first name as the man I was actually there to visit! Can you say AWKWARD! As I slinked out the door I profusely apologized for the misunderstanding.
What is so interesting to me about this little mishap is the way it pointed out the significance of a shared relationship. We had connected over what we thought was a common relationship. Once that relationship was removed, the connection went with it.
Isn't that exactly what Jesus was warning us of when He said, "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Without a relationship with Jesus, we have no connection with the Father.
Mitchell Dillon, founder of Illustration Exchange