faith family god religion work

the work i do

I didn’t know if when it would happen or if it ever would.  It has been really hard to make patient visits.  Then slowly starting this week, I feel more at ease like I did before.  Last Sunday I answered an on call referral to ICU.  I provided pastoral care to a family of actively dying patient.  I presented the visit to my group.  I didn’t do nearly as well as I thought I did after I considered some of the feedback from the group.  Yet it was immensely difficult visit.  I felt disconnected from life after the visit.  Earlier in the week, I had few meaningful visits where patients wanted to talk about theological stuff.  And then yesterday, prayed with two patients in particular that stand out in my mind.  I prayed with one person who was really sick yet still had faith in God.  And I provided end of life care to family of actively dying patient.  The mother said why didn’t God take me?  Why is God taking my son?  I felt heart broken to hear that.  I realize I don’t have any answers.  All I can offer is support.  I prayed with the mother and her family.  And somehow I feel once again reminded of the fact that I do what I do not because it’s easy, not because I do it better than others, but because I am able and because I have been given the opportunity to provide care to patient and families in hospital setting.  Another patient was anxious she may be judged after her death, which she believes is imminent, and she didn’t know what that would be like.  More than anything, I hold on to the love of God.  I told the patient that God loves her.  And the judgment she would have faced, Jesus took in her place as he did for me as well.  Really last Sunday I felt like I couldn’t keep making pastoral visits…too difficult, too sad, just too much to bear.  But I see now that what I do can mean the difference between laying awake at night fearing the judgment day or wondering what God’s love would look and feel like when you finally go home, or whether God understands the pain of having your son in your sixties is being taken before you and being able to cry out to God who knows the pain you are going through because he too had lost his only begotten son.  What can I say?  It’s a privilege, it really is.  The work I do, it matters.

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