In the brief time I was a hospice chaplain in the late 1990s, and certainly as a pastor serving churches, I entered into people’s homes.
I’d spend time at kitchen tables, settle onto sofas and often—especially with hospice patients—pull up a folding chair and sit next to a bed. Maybe I’d talk about an upcoming baptism for an infant around one of those tables, with the remnants of dinner still between the excited parents and me. Or on that sofa, balancing a cup of coffee, I’d help an eager couple plan their upcoming wedding. However, when I eased onto a chair by someone’s bed, it was rarely a happy occasion.
I recall one church member who’d had back surgery and was bed-bound for months. While Marilyn was blessed with many friends, most of them worked during the day. For long stretches, she felt alone and lonely. And so I sat beside her, my prayers for her strength and health probably as important as our joking and swapping stories that helped pass the dreary time. Read More →by