In the day when I cried, you answered me, and strengthened me…. ~ psalm 138:3
As a healthcare chaplain working in the midst of our current pandemic, I am in awe of the myriad ways Grace God works to propel me beyond what I could ever do on my own. In honoring the social isolation protocols of our current healthcare scenario, I am invited and challenged to companion others in new and unexpected ways. I am thrust into situations where what used to unfold in the intimacy of a one-to-one encounter with a patient now unfolds with multiple medical personnel; these colleagues now collaborate with me to offer my spiritual companionship through them to the patient in situ. This often involves me offering presence to a patient via the telephone which is usually on speaker mode.
To enter this, I’ve had to relinquish my sense of presence as that which I offer through my physical being and body language with the patient, and move into a much more nuanced dance of presence. For me, this has levied my own poverty of spirit in a way that has humbled me, filled me with awe, and revealed the gifts of a Grace that bring me to my knees. These are sacred exchanges where God’s grace pours forth in amazing and powerful ways. For me, for the patient, and for those who enter this holy exchange with us. The love that motivates my humble offering to the patient births a transforming love in return – the sacred sharing of Grace received.
I am softened and stretched wider open by the shimmering, numinous spirit of my encounters that fill my waiting heart with wonder and draw me forward … beyond the bounds of where I could ever go alone.