Though he was fictional, the bishop in Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables, was a masterful depiction of ministry. He held the pivotal moment in Hugo’s epic story of grace and salvation, and epitomized the influence of a man who, for the sake of Christ, was simply there…
“M. Myriel [the Bishop of Digne] could be summoned at any hour to the bedside of the sick and dying. He did not ignore the fact that therein lay his greatest duty and his greatest labor. Widowed and orphaned families had no need to summon him; he came of his own accord. He understood how to sit down and hold his peace for long hours beside the man who had lost the wife of his love, of the mother who had lost her child. As he knew the moment for silence he knew also the moment for speech… Oh, admirable consoler! He sought not to efface sorrow by forgetfulness, but to magnify and dignify it by hope.” —Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
To preserve self is the end of ministry; to give for others is Christ and hope.
Who needs you today? Anyone who needs Jesus.