Recently, I returned to my volunteer position of spiritual care at the local hospital. I took a year-and-a-half sabbatical after Glen had spent three weeks in that hospital before he died.
The first week back, I purposely avoided the second floor where we had our last goodbye with Glen. The next time I went, I decided I couldn’t ignore patients on that floor because of the feelings it might dredge up. Sure enough, a patient on my list was in room 224. I half-way hoped the patient would either be busy with a nurse, out for tests, or sleeping–all in which I would just pass on by. But the man I was to visit was in his bed and I couldn’t avoid crossing the threshold into the room.
The visit went okay, and I found myself silently praying for the health of the man–that he would walk out of this room healed and ready to get back to his normal life. There was no awkward or painful moments while in the room. A hospital room does not take on the soul of the patient.
My experience with Glen at his bedside has given me patience, insight, understanding, and purpose for visiting and praying for the patient. I’ll let God be the nurse and healer. It’s my job to help raise the spirits of the patient.
Thank you, Lord, for opportunities to share prayer and time chatting with the sick and lonely. Amen.