Wednesday, July 20, 2005

All Morning in a Hospital Room

I spent all morning in a hospital room. The woman I was visiting was scared and lonely, and wanted me to stay all day. I talked gently with her, trying to assure her, trying to offer comfort. I stayed as long as I could. She is facing a drastic change in lifestyle, adding a walker to help her get around. She is very worried about navigating the stairs at church. When I told her, "Just think about how nice it will be when our elevator arrives," she replied, "I wish it would hurry up and get here." She was feeling anxious and worried, and I spent all morning with her.

I could have been ...
... negotiating with architects and contractors to finish this construction project
... responding to concerns about our congregation's proposed name change
... thinking about ways to promote and publicize the church's new vision and mission statements
... figuring out how we are going to pay for the elevator project's cost
... writing my presentations for the upcoming Cursillo weekend
... planning worship services for the weekend after next
... proofreading this month's newsletter
... dealing with a potentially caustic church staff issue
... editing sermon texts from the transcriptions that have been emailed to me
... visiting any of the dozen or so people on my list to check up on
... doing follow up calls with my list of visitors
... walking through Northtown handing out brochures to new residents
... or any of a bunch of other stuff that probably needs to be done and someone has to do it so why not me.

But I stayed with her all morning in her hospital room. And I do not regret it for a moment.

She was scared and lonely, so I stayed.

Ministry - Gotta love it!


Anonymous said...

A minister that you and I both know very well once said that he used to get upset because his work got interupted so often by unplanned for emergencies or intrusions. When he realized that his ministry WAS those interruptions, he got through each day with much less anxiety. Mom

iamnettie said...

Sounds like the best use of your morning. Glad you were able to spend time with this lady in need. Sometimes just being there is what people need most!

dabeckztr said...



your're the best at it!



John said...

You've got your priorities straight.

Anonymous said...

AS a member of your "remarkable congregation" I want you to know we appreciate our "remarkable" pastor. I recall your presentation to our Stephen Ministry group in which you spoke of your ministry in crisis situations. Perhaps this lady (and you) would benefit from a Stephen Minister after her crisis situation is resolved!!

Lorna said...

This was good to read. Also the first comment

One question though... do you actually do this "editing sermon texts from the transcriptions that have been emailed to me" and if so, why and whose etc.

Just interested :)

Andy B. said...

Actually I was referring to my own sermons. I preach from an outline, then a very gracious lady in the church takes the tape of the worship serivce and transcribes my sermon and emails it to me. When I get it, I edit it and print it off.
- AB