A couple weeks ago, I experienced the hospital from the other side of the bed. I wasn't the chaplain. I wasn't the patient. I was the patient's spouse. So while Nancy was in the hospital, I was at the hospital. For 48 hours, Nancy was in the hospital, moving from triage to an ER bed … Continue reading What I learned by being in the hospital
I talk in patient rooms and hallways all the time about pain and grief and forgiveness. For obvious reasons, there are never cameras. However, our team at Parkview invited Dave Johnson and me to have that conversation and record it. Dave is a nurse educator and therapist I first met twenty years ago. In this … Continue reading Pain, grief, and forgiveness.
How working as a hospital chaplain shapes the way one writer approaches the Biblical text. (Hermeneutics)
As a pastor then, as a chaplain now, I often navigate in a space bounded by positional obligations and patient (and family) expectations, and God’s invitation. So in that space, when it occurs in hospitals (or other places of pastoral care), what does it look like to talk to God on behalf of and in the presence of other people? And, perhaps, to talk to people on behalf of, and in the presence, of God.
What if you and four friends said, “No one is eating alone after a funeral. Churches have meals for members. We’re going to offer meals to families who don’t have churches.” And you became known as the people who were there in the hardest moments of life, not with answers but with presence. What if you provided potluck and pie?
Because I see a lot of death as a hospital chaplain, it makes sense for me to look for ways to help people think about how to make decisions about medical and other interventions near the end of life. How to understand what is going on in the hospital and in the body. How to work within a framework to make decisions. This is a review of books I've been reading.
“What do we do?” The dad was holding the baby. About 30 weeks in the womb, the first 28 of those growing, moving. The last two motionless. Now, this couple was thinking about the services that would honor their child who had no list of accomplishment to eulogize. Here's what I told them.
How can I get better at pastoral care? I can pay attention to my own practice, my own interactions with husbands and wives, parents and children, moments of excruciating difficulty. In each of those moments (or immediately after) I can ask myself, "What am I learning that will help me with the next one of those moments. What questions can I ask myself and others? What can I learn about attending to bits of information and infusing them back into the care all of us provide?"
I often hear people talking about God teaching them this lesson or that. Though we have many stories about the ways that Jesus was teaching people, most of them don't fit in our sense of "teaching people a lesson." This video from a few of my friends will help you understand what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdYWGRfKW9w
I’m sorry. Nothing: (Sixty seconds of silence) May I take care of that? (and take the tissue out of their hands and give them a fresh one and throw it away and wash your hands) This is hard. Yes, I remember that time. I don’t know. . whether pets are in heaven . . . … Continue reading 10 simple phrases when visiting in the first hours after a death.