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.
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