July 29, 2009
For they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Mark 6:50
A chaplain from another hospital called to request that someone visit this patient. I knew he was very ill, but that was it. The family greeted me as I walked into the ante-room; they were in the midst of telling jokes and poking each other. They even kept smiling as I introduced myself, "The Chaplain" (Usually that brings a pause or a frown or at least a question mark bubble over folks heads.) Not this crowd, they were jovial and welcoming.
We walked into the room where their family member was lying. He looked like a strong man who had just run a race and was catching his breath. He was catching his breath, but he had not just run a race. He was breathing through a mask-with-an-oxygen-pocket. After a time of getting-to-know-you, and my remarking about the one person's "JESUS" t-shirt, I asked, "Y'all want to pray?"
And out came this prayer that was completely without pre-thought. Honestly, I was not speaking. And in the midst of it, I was terrified. I just allowed what fell in my heart to flow out of my mouth. I felt suddenly grounded and connected to these folks, not afraid anymore. I believe that JESUS was with us in that room.
I said "Amen" and they all un-clutched their held hands, grabbing for kleenex. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, it wasn't me at all. It was God.
How are you taking heart today?