St. Luke's Hospital Chapel News message (translated from the Japanese)
A student at the nursing college recently told me of a unusual experience she had. Because of a tragic loss she suffered, she said, for nearly ten years she was "anti-God"—angry at God for letting this horrible thing happen. So it was with a great deal of resentment and hurt bottled up inside that she took part in the commencement service in the chapel in April. "I'm out of place here," she recalls thinking.
But as soon as she sat down in the chapel seat, she felt as if a great weight was suddenly lifted from her. All the bitter feelings she had been carrying for years dissipated in a moment, and she was left surprised and thankful. She knew then that she had been brought to St. Luke's for a reason.
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I met an elderly woman in the hospice ward last month. She seemed to shine whenever I visited her. I always left gladdened by our time together.
This woman lost most of her hearing when she was about 30 years old due to an illness. But she came to view the illness as "a gift from God": She said that it was in the acknowledgement of her own frailty that she was led to see God's kindness and mercy.
For 50 years, she walked joyfully with the Lord Jesus. Her very last words were "I'm happy" and "I'm so grateful".
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The Holy Spirit who descended at Pentecost still comes, often in less dramatic ways. I recall my own "quiet Pentecost," sitting on a promontory in Kamakura looking out over the ocean—it was on that late afternoon that a small ray of hope and joy penetrated the long, dark winter of my soul. I couldn't know at the time that, from that point, my whole life would be forever changed.
It's as if God is laying in wait for us, always ready to reach out, to bring us healing and comfort and courage. God looks out for any opportunity to turn our hearts back to Him.
We need not speak with other tongues like the first disciples did. But let us not be shy in "declaring the mighty works of God" (Acts 2:12) in our own lives and in this community.