Friday, April 9, 2010


I peeked into room 24 and found an elderly man smiling at me from his bed.  Mr. Barry had already been in for two days and was ready to go home.  I asked him if he been to our hospital before.  He laughed.  "A few times!"  I asked him if he was born here.  "No, I was born at home, about 12 years before the hospital opened."  His first visit was around 1933 as a young teen with a bout of appendicites.  The hospital was one building with 6 bed wards.   Nurses had just shortened their uniform dresses to mid calf length which showed off their thick white stockings and heeled shoes.  Mr. Barry approved. 

Being a healthy young man, Mr. Barry didn't return to the hospital for years.  Unless you count the waiting room of labor and delivery to get news of his children's births.  He spent 1 week here in the 60's with a broken leg.  A decade later he was rushed to the emergency center after cutting off 4 fingers in a lawnmower fiasco.  He toured the surgery wing with a bad gall bladder, and the newly built heart center for a bypass and two heart caths.  He became familiar with the oncology center long enough to put his prostate cancer in remission. 

A light stroke brought him to the hospital this weekend -A huge, sprawling medial center so changed from the original hospital he had started at.  "You would think I'd have a wing named for me, after all my business here!"  he joked.

In that moment, I loved being part of this place for him.  A consistent and trusted place where he could come to any time with any manner of illness and find healing

It reminds me of a quote I highlighted in Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis.
There is Jesus' death on our behalf once and for all, and there is the ongoing work of the cross in our hearts and minds and souls and lives.  There is the ongoing need to return to the cross to be reminded of our brokenness and dependence on God.  There is the healing we need from the cross every single day.  A restoration.

Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old.  Lamentations 5:21


  1. heart warming to know you got to be with him on THIS visit!

  2. What a treat to listen to his history! Thank God we have a restoration resource! M6