This summer I am participating in a program called CPE-- Clinical Pastoral Experience. We just spent two weeks being orientated to the hospital and each other. Last night 5PM-12:30AM Me and a partner shadowed a Staff Chaplin. It was quite a ride. We experienced a trauma, 2 elderly patient deaths, I saw for the first time a dead infant, being held as his family said good bye... clinging to any memory of their little one that they could. I saw many teeny tiny babies in NCIU fighting for their lives. I grieved inwardly as we told a sweet little old lady that her husband was in the ER, then isn't doing well, then died. My heart broke to learn that they had no one else in the world, only each other. I caught a glimpse of what long-lasting love is as I watched her through herself and his body and cry.
I was quite amazed as I visited her this morning and how well she was doing-- thanks to a nursing staff that shows great love and compassion. I ended my night shift waiting as parents shorted through their theology as to when would be an appropriate time to let their little one, who is brain dead, go.
Now, and I sit here at nine o'clock at night I begin to anticipate what the wee morning hours will bring as I anticipating stepping back into the world of critical care in 3 short hours and finding my identity as a pastor there.