Well, it happened. My husband got his first middle-of-the-night-emergency-phone-call-to-the-pastor. It was sometime around 1:30 AM last night. The neighbor of one of our parishioners had just committed suicide, and the family was all over at the parishioner's house, freaking out. Could Pastor Tom come over?, she asked. Things were not going well for the family. Could he come over and offer words of comfort?
He would come over, anyway. Words of comfort might be a struggle. (Are there any words?) He would do his best. He would climb out of bed and get dressed in the cold, wondering what sort of situation he would find, a roomful of terrified strangers, no doubt, and meanwhile his wife lying awake at home, praying that he wouldn't hit a deer on the way there, or fall asleep at the wheel, or be lost to the dark like the son who had just done such a thing to himself, to his family.
This is ministry. This is the "neither death nor life...nor anything else in all creation" moment that Paul was talking about. God meets us here or nowhere at all.