August 8, 2009
Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." Mark 30:36-37
I had the opportunity to "shadow" another chaplain today. He met with the family as the patient slept to discuss a legal document called a Health Care Power of Attorney. As he described the process and answered their questions, he kept telling the patient, who remained sleeping, how he would have to choose various treatment options. His attention was primarily on the weakest one among us.
After describing the choices, the family began to rant. They complained about pretty much every part of the hospital system of which they had made contact in the last three months. At each point, my teacher/chaplain kept the weakest one among us in the forefront. Sure, they had some valid points, but the care given to the patient remained central.
I learned about the value of welcoming the "child" in the midst of family trauma. After our hour+ visit, we regrouped and began strategizing how to address their complaints. But not until we checked in with the nurse, who confirmed that the patient was being cared for (as we had thought).
How are you welcoming the child among you, right now?