A witness to God's presence
Parishioner Patrick Kidd reflects on how renal failure helped him to find a more expansive sense of God's Holy Spirit working within him -- and why he pays-it-forward by praying with and for others. Read on...
Throughout the years I have been a parishioner at St. James’, I have felt drawn into participating in a number of different programs and ministries. And I would like to share with you one ministry in particular that is very much a part of my involvement here.
Two years ago, St. James’ clergy initiated the practice of offering “ashes to go” outside Hunter College by the 68th street Subway exit and I volunteered to be a part of that – with more than a little trepidation. That folks going to or from work or study should stand in lines on the sidewalk to receive ashes from a priest or lay minister was incredible to me – but they did just that. Even more profound was that after the imposition of the ashes, we asked the recipient if they would like a prayer of healing or for any life situation for themselves or anyone else, and without exception, everyone had a prayer request.
I did too. For it was at this time I found myself facing renal failure, which ultimately led to having a kidney transplant. But I told Brenda about this as we stood on the corner outside the subway station that morning.
From then on, it meant so much to have parishioners and clergy not only pray for a successful transplant and for healing, but also who were very much present with me throughout the experience, including visiting me in hospital pre- and post-operation. Receiving communion in hospital right after that life-saving procedure, gave a whole new, and more profound meaning to the gratitude expressed in the Eucharistic liturgy. I also could not go through this painful and complicated transplant process without being transformed spiritually. With the help of prayer – my own and that of everyone around me – I really was able to accept and embrace the situation without being brought down by it. I have certainly come through the past two years with a more expansive sense of God’s Holy Spirit working within me.
The Ministry of Healing Prayer we offer after worship each Sunday is to me, a witness to God’s presence in our lives and it is a privilege to share, alongside another Lay Minister, prayers of whatever is requested by parishioners, who choose to join us at the altar, over in the side chapel.