The Face of Love in Hospitals

On LinkedIn I send congratulations on work anniversaries to some of my connections. In many cases, I am not well acquainted with the recipients. Such was the case with this one. It turned into something more for me. I thought I should share it.

 Matthew,

Thank you for three years of good service at your hospital. I have spent more than 18 months over night in various hospitals with my special needs, medically fragile daughter. Her mother spent the other 18 plus months over night and 5 days out of seven for the three year total. I spent much of the weekends.

I tell you these things so you know I speak from a position of experience. We were not always appreciative of the efforts of your pastoral colleagues in the hospitals when we stayed with Sophie. Most of the time, we were scared or angry or very tired. The more evangelical the visitor, the less patient and welcoming we were.

As a really bad Catholic but a good recovering drunk (21 years sober), I was slightly more accepting of faith-based visitors than my agnostic wife. As a Catholic, I am proud to say that the Catholic pastors most clearly showed me Christ by loving us the best way they knew how. This is particularly true of some Catholic nuns who served us and God.

The best chaplains said things like “I am available for listening” or “Is there anything I can do”. Sometimes they just came in and took our food tray away. (As I write this I am moved to tears).

Thank you for the work you do for my brothers and sisters who are “in the hospital with their children”. God bless you and may you show people Christ in gentle loving action every day.

How is that for a “congrats” on a work anniversary.

Clearly these were humbling and grateful memories for me.

I may not be a good Christian but it is difficult to ignore Christ’s very best teaching. We say so much more with our attitudes and our action than we do with our words. I am always struck by the bumper stickers, WWJD. It stands for what would Jesus DO. It does not stand for What Would Jesus SAY.

How might I serve those I meet today? Today I will try to express my beliefs through loving action.