This past week was a rough one. Many times as Pastor’s we are simply there. The past couple weeks have seemed like the endless calls that a member is sick, in the hospital, or on hospice. It is in these times that I am thankful for the many hours that I was required to spend in the hospital “playing chaplain” at St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard. There always seems to be an urge within me to find some words to break the silence, make family members laugh in the middle of a tense situation. It is those times that I am thankful for my time being a seminary chaplain intern.
I have talked about it more than a few times how after some of my reviews the supervisors noticed that I had some issues of death. All the supervisors claimed that they can make anyone cry or break down within minutes, it was their way of getting at the heart of spiritual and emotional issues within minutes. They were very good at identifying people’s issues. Anyways mine was that I had some unresolved issues of grief and death. In response to this I was on call for all the end of life cases. Each time someone was near death or had died… I was called. Wasn’t it great to be me? While it was not the happy cheery experience that everyone hopes for… I did become more well rounded. I was able to deal with my issues and become a better pastor to others who are going through end of life issues. But also come to grips with my inner emotional issues as well.
Sitting in a room with those that are in hospice, does not require great and deep Biblical insight. Sometimes its being present. No jokes, no awkward moments, just being Christ to those that are passing and a beacon of light for those left behind.