I don’t do hospitals.
I was sufficiently traumatized by two separate trips to the emergency room as a child. The thought of sitting in a waiting room is enough to make me queasy! It’s no surprise that I rejected the idea of hospital chaplaincy during Divinity school. Looking back, I’m envious of my classmates who recall their chaplaincy experiences as challenging and rewarding experiences, filled with profound reflections on life, death, suffering, and resilience.
If you’re anything like me, I wonder how to best practice this important work of mercy, knowing that I don’t have a genuine call to minister to the sick. Healing comes in many forms – through our presence, prayers, simple gifts, a home-cooked meal, or an encouraging word. Often, what the ill need most is to be seen and to know they are not forgotten.