Author Archives: davidmartin

Pay it forward

This thank you note and photo was sent from Paul Figel one of our 2015 interns to David Martin our Spiritual Care Director – Tarrant County. We are so proud of Paul and all he is accomplishing in His name.  As you read this note, you’ll hear the impact that the Lifeline Chaplaincy internship continues to have on him.

Dear David,

Thank you so much for your contribution to our medical mission trip through your donation as well as your prayers. God did amazing things thru us as we made ourselves available to Him. We strive to bring quality holistic care to the poorest of Honduras, not focusing on the number of patients but instead on allowing the Spirit to lead each visit and conversation. God came through and allowed us to do more than I ever could’ve imagined! [Eph 3:20 – Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us]

We were able to reach, treat, and pray either over 1000 patients, all of whom will continue to be served and encouraged by fellow believers living in Honduras long term through Sparrow Missions. I gained great medical experience interviewing, examining patients and collaborating with Physicians on diagnosis and treatment plans.

More importantly, the spirit showed me several valuable experiences and lessons to take away form the trip. I learned that though medicine is a wonderful service, it has an end as there’s only so much you can do and its healing is temporary. The relationships, trust and conversations however provide opportunity for the spirit to work through believers, bearing fruit that will never perish. I pray to keep an eternal focus throughout my journey and to trust God rather than myself or medicine. [Psalm 20:7 – Some Boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.]

Thank you David!

Love, Paul

Photo (Paul Figel – 2015 Lifeline Chaplaincy intern and patient from Hondurasintern Paul Fiegl

Advertisements

Eternal Music

I am a song

Color bursting

Upon the ear

Sometimes a song of quiet strings

Haunting melodies or flowing streams

Sometimes a piercing blast on a trumpet

Calling “awake! Awake!

Come play and dance

To the song I hear

It is joy or sorrow

Glee or pain

Do you dare to dance with me?

Or choose your own melody, but dance.

Dance with abandon

Stare deep within

And don’t be afraid

Of the wildness there

That seeks a melody

Your melody to aria bring

And chorus swell

With angels throng

The song.

The singing

Of joy to the world

For which we all long.

                                                                                         -David F. Martin

Grief Happy?

GRIEF HAPPY?

Sometimes well meaning friends try to talk us out of our grief.  “Stay busy.  Get all their clothes out of the house.  It’s time you move on.”

Others may shame you.  “You should have more faith!  It was God’s will.”  But your feelings of grief and loss continued unabated.

I submit that faith isn’t about happy feelings. It’s about believing when the feelings aren’t there.  Deep, abiding faith sustains in times of raw grief.

As the Psalmist reminds us,

“Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me…” (Ps. 23: 4a NIV).

David Martin, DMin

Song of Love

Song of Love

I listen to the song of God’s great love
In morn as birds sing.
I see this song in leaf of green
From weed to majestic tree.

I listen to this song of God’s great love
In purple Martin melody.
I see this song in sunlight’s beam
Falling fresh ere’ early dawn.

I see this song of God’s great love
In colors shade and hue,
And wonder that Creator loves me;
Always, and ever loves me.

David Martin

Tiny Deeds. Eternal Consequences.

The patient told of her mother’s unexpected death, followed by her father’s
remarrying two months later. Then he abandoned six children to move to
another state. Her aunt took them in. All they had to sleep on was a
linoleum floor covered with a thin blanket.

The children noticed children’s rhymes scribbled on the linoleum. There!
“The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.” In another corner, “Jack Sprat.” On the
hard surface, this patient learned to read from nursery rhymes, as the older
children would rehearse them each night to the younger. So they comforted
one another. The adults had abandoned them.

Her favorite poem was a prayer. “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the
Lord my soul to keep. And should I die before I wake, I pray The Lord my
soul to take.”

I never said this prayer to my children as it seemed frightening.
To abandoned children, however, it seemed a possibility they might not make
it through the night.

Years later the patient taught her grandson about God through this simple
bedtime prayer.

I wondered about the person or child that wrote this prayerful rhyme on the
linoleum back in the early 40’s. Could they have known it would comfort
others three generations hence?

Tiny Deeds. Eternal Consequences.

David Martin

The Song of Love – David Martin

I listen to the song of God’s great love On this morn as birds sing.
I see this song in every leaf of green
From weed to majestic tree.

I listen to this song of God’s great love In chirping purple Martin melody.
I see this song in sunlight’s beam
Falling fresh in early dawn.

I see this song of God’s great love
In colors hue and shade,
And wonder that Creator loves me;
Has loved me, always loves me.

 

– Director of Spiritual Care, David Martin

Losing One’s Independence

The loss of physical independence is certainly one of life’s most challenging experiences. Elderly patients often find themselves in a position of giving up their homes and living in what we used to call a nursing home. Now they are often called assisted living. No matter how you dress it up, it still means giving up the comfort of familiar surroundings. This disorientation is compounded by the fact that you may be depending on others to help you walk, move in and out of bed, or assist with toileting.

I am deeply interested in how people respond to such news. After all, I may be in their shoes some day. Many of my core beliefs about life are wrapped up in my ability to walk, provide for myself, and provide for those I love. What if I was unable to walk?

Some elderly people accept their new circumstances stoically. They believe that staying with their children would create hardship, or strained relationships. “I don’t want to be a burden,” they will often say. I certainly admire their selflessness. I am not sure I could be so magnanimous. Who knows how we will respond if and when such decisions come to or lives?

*Itzhak Perlman broke a string on his violin at the beginning of a concert in Houston in 1995. Due to his physical limitations, getting a new string would have required a great deal of time and effort. Instead, he continued playing on three strings, improvising as he performed. The crowd was deeply moved by his performance and gave him a standing ovation. His comment …”You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left.”

The people I have seen smiling in nursing homes are those who find other people to talk to and encourage. They have incredible patience and learn to wait on those who wait on them. They are wise enough to be kind to those who feed them their meals, change their bedding, etc…for it is their kindness on which they depend.

What we take into the loss of independence are those fruits of the Spirit that do not depend on circumstances. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22) are “heart kept” and cannot be stolen away. You can love your caregivers. You can show them joy and offer them peace. You can be patient and show goodness. You can be gentle with others and practice self-control. I have seen others accomplish this.

A good friend of mine lived to be 93, and spent the last few years of her life in assisted living. Though a stroke had paralyzed her right side, she typed long e-mail letters with one hand, and conducted Bible studies with many of her caregivers and fellow tenants. I find her example admirable and worthy of imitation. I hope I can respond as well should the need arise. We may lose our physical freedom, but the Spirit remains free.

*Taken from Light on the Fringe: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression by Gary H. Lovejoy and Gregory M. Knopf.

Author David Martin