Friday, June 18, 2010


I get a page to the EC for a trauma alert MVA.  As I walk in, the charge nurse waves me over. "Great!   The chaplain is here.  Let her have a crack at him."    What?  I peer over at a bruised and scratched up man in a neck brace jabbering a mile a minute incoherently.  "He's high as a kite and already cussed out two of us," she says.  "You go in there and get him all saved and stuff."  

I join a family around a bed in ICU.  They have just learned that their elderly mother is brain dead, the result of a massive stroke.  As they are trying to absorb the news they ask me to say a prayer.  "We know God is capable," they assert.  "Tell Him we want her healed."

I stop to talk to the secretary in Labor and Delivery.  Two babies have died today and the nursing staff is taking it hard.  The secretary thinks I can help.  "You are going to need to come back in a little while and explain why this kind of thing happens.  They are really going to need some chaplaining."

And in Major Care I get flagged down walking by.  "Hey preacher lady!"  a nurse calls out.  "You going to come talk to all the drunk drivers we got in today?  Tell them they need to get their acts together."

I always smile at these comments.  And I feel sort of  little.   Helpless.  Ill-equipped.  I wish I was more Ghandi like, or  Pope-ish, or that I had a magic, red super chaplain outfit and the zip that goes with it.   I wish I was Jesus.  I think about Him here, at my hospital, raising these people up, wiping tears, healing bodies and minds and addictions, restoring health and hope.    I guess His pager would never stop buzzing.  His on-call bed would never get slept in.  And I think He would end His shift exhausted and triumphant, walking out to the parking deck with the nurses and cleaning people who were also finishing their shifts.

In lieu of that, you get me.  No cape.  No miracles.  A lot of compassion.  A little patience.  And plenty of questions of my own.  Yep.  That's what you can expect.

"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."  So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases...Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.  Mark 10:51 and Mark 1:34-35


  1. Yep, they get you......and there is no one I'd rather get in a healthy or desperate state. You fit the job description (and a rather daunting one it is at times, I agree) because "His strength is made perfect in our weakness"-a far better state to be capeless and needy and filled with His love! M6

  2. you forgot to mention the scenario that says, "hey chaplain, come eat this holy bacon with me!" Away you'd go to save the day.