I know, my chaplaincy year is finished. However, there is so much on my heart and in my memory that keeps bubbling up...it's like this time-release capsule. Sometimes the space between the incident and the understanding is outside of linear human time. That's what happened in this case.
During my last two on-call evenings, there were a total of three separate stabbing traumas. I met each of the stabbees and to my surprise, their stabbers were family or close friends. Since this whole year I only witnessed one other knife-meets-flesh incident, this spurt of stabbings caught my attention. I never did meet the specific person who stabbed, nor did I ever hear the full story around the situation. I prayed for wholeness and healing and left them in God's Love.
I recall from scripture the presentation of Jesus in the temple, when Simeon says to Mary,
‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ (Luke 2:34-35)
I imagine that Mary must have been perplexed at this post-blessing dismissal. What must it have meant to Mary that her child was to be a sign that ... the inner thoughts of many will be revealed? What kind of perinatal pastoral message was Simeon saying?
In the world of flesh and blood and trauma bays and CAT scans, the doctors managed in all cases to sew up the patient, repair the torn kidney, heal the bruised ureter, and in general, bring whole-body-ness with Spirit-inspired medical skill. However, I can't help but wonder if their soul was also pierced.
I know that my soul was pierced, or nicked anyway, as it was with every one of my pastoral visits with patients, families and staff.
I pray that by the time these folks' inner thoughts are revealed there may be a message of God's universal movement toward well-being. I pray that they can find reconciliation. That forgiveness will rain on their lives and drench them in redemption.
That's all I can do and be and that prayer is enough in this moment.