Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I stood outside Neuro ICU talking with family members who were waiting for the 20 minute visiting time to start so they could see their loved ones.  I walked over to one man standing by the window.  I introduced myself and he immediately began sharing his story.  

He told me he and Hazel had been married for 58 years.  She had had a massive stroke on Sunday, out of the blue.  He called the ambulance who rushed her here.  The doctors had said the damage was "not compatible with life."  Everyone was waiting.

Tears streamed down his checks while he talked.  "I just can't imagine life without her.  What am I going to do?"  Ohhhhh.

When the double doors swung up, and the families surged inside I headed to the front desk and looked for Kelly.  She was there.  I said "Kelly, I just talked to Mr. Martin."  Her eyes welled up.  She said "It just breaks your heart, doesn't it?"

My heart was too heavy for much theological reflection at the moment.  But I thought about Mr. Martin later in Pastoral Care class when we read this quote.  It's thought provoking -

"People become most aware of their values when they reach turning points in their lives and must make choices or when they are thrust into decision making because of a crisis.  Prior to such moments, they may not have thought much about the values that orient them to the meaning and purpose of their lives.  At its simplest, theology is a way to talk about people's deepest values.

Do their religious faith and practices give people new life, or exacerbate already painful circumstances?  To what extent do people experience the fullness and complexity of God's presence with them?"  The Practice of Pastoral Care, Carrie Doehring.

This is what the Lord says:  I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.  2 Kings 20:5

1 comment: