In Which I Feel Sad, But Still Try to Be Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, October 7, 2014

blue flowers

In Which I Feel Sad, But Still Try to Be Kind

I tried to be kind today. I truly did.

Since today was Tuesday, I read to the preschoolers and kindergarteners this morning. (That always makes me happy!) I answered a number of emails, responded to several items of business, and personally wrote thank you notes to all of the businesses that were kind enough to give raffle prizes to St. Luke’s Church—for the Spaghetti Dinner last Saturday. Busy day at work today!

But, that was not all. I found out about a dear senior today who is not in very good health. Dear, dear senior saint. I feel for this senior so deeply. I have been calling and visiting on a regular basis, over the past number of weeks. And I feel discouraged. Deeply sad.

Over the last ten years, I have known a number of people who became sick and died. Some over a long period of time, others more quickly. Some even suddenly, traumatically. It doesn’t particularly matter why they died, except for the fact that they did die.

I’ve been a chaplain for most of the past ten years. I’ve seen trauma, gun shots, stabbings, heart attacks, strokes, broken hips. Patients in the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department, as well as in Extended Care and even after they’ve been released. And some of the saddest, most heartbreaking situations of all, when I was paged to Labor and Delivery for an emergency call. (For some reason, these calls are often in the middle of the night.) So, I’ve seen sadness. I have journeyed with patients and their loved ones down these heartbreaking paths.

The current, continuing situation with this dear senior is—sadly—not new to me. And yet, it is. Each individual brings a different aspect to this circle of life. I cannot help but think of others who have passed on. Crossed that river. Died.

I’ve been asked, point blank, what happens after we die. I do not really know. (Other than some tiny glimpses the Bible gives to us. And, most of them can be construed as allegorical.) I do know that I will be with God. And beyond that? I don’t particularly care. I’m held in God’s hand. That’s perfectly all right.

So, yes. I did do some kind things today. Some useful and helpful things, too. However, my day was (and is) colored by sadness. Grayness. Anticipatory grief, grieving the dear person I used to know. Hoping against hope that this senior will have a good day tomorrow.

Isn’t that all we can wish, for each of us? Each person. Each individual. I pray that each of us might have a good day tomorrow. And, good rest at the end of the day. God willing.

@chaplaineliza

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Of Service? With Patients—and Patience

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, July 31, 2014

FAITH help me trust God

Of Service? With Patients—and Patience

This blog is called “A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service.” Now, after seven months of striving for God’s presence with me in what I do and say (not to mention what I think!), I am starting to truly feel God with me, as a general rule. It is particularly wonderful when I ask the question “how can I be of service today?” automatically now. Just pops right out of my mouth. Happened twice today. Stunning way to live for and serve our God.

What about this afternoon? I made a number of telephone calls, and a pastoral visit to a health facility. I prayed beforehand, and I hope I was an encouragement to those I contacted.

God surprises me, too, with God-incidences. I responded to an email today, and I think I used encouraging and supportive words. I tried to convey a real spirit of helping and service. God had another email ready for me this evening. I opened that second email, and, wow! A continuing healthcare situation I’ve been praying about for many, many months? I opened that email and looked at the contents—and was moved to tears. I can tell you that God is able. God can work in hospital rooms as well as people’s hearts.

God gives patience. Sometimes when I really need it, God sends it. In the case of this continuing situation, it is pretty serious. But, God is right smack in the middle of it. Yes, I am acquainted with the whole family, from another state. Yes, there was and still is a ton of email support. My friends with the situation have awesome prayer and comfort coming their way on a continuing basis. Every day, someone is praying for that family. And tonight, when my friend sent another of the regular email updates of the ups and downs of the continuing health condition, I was sincerely moved. Choked up.

Yes, people perform some extraordinary acts of courage, persistence, and patience. Like my friends. And I can be of assistance, too. I can continue to pray. I can send cards. And, God willing, God will keep me on track. Ready to ask “where can I help today?” Plus, ready to answer, respond or give praise to God? That, too.

God, please continue to open my heart to this long-distance heathcare situation. Thanks for the number of hopeful and positive months of communication! May they continue.

@chaplaineliza

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