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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Friday, June 20, 2003

Pastoral Education

After morning report, we were free to spend the rest of the day on our rounds. I started by hanging out in the surgery waiting area, just being available to both patients waiting to be called up to surgery, and families waiting for patients to come out of recovery. My supervisor calls this "loitering with intent." I like it-- had a couple of families to chat with, over the course of my time there. Then I trotted over to the burn unit. No new patients today, thank heaven, and the folks who were there are all healing well. There's currently three kids on the unit-- two toddlers and a preteen, with whom I enjoyed some smart alecky banter.

I got my first unit page this afternoon. One of the nurses on the 4th floor called; and when I arrived, she took me back to the patient, saying "Mrs. X, the chaplain's here." I liked that-- it's beginning to feel like that's who I am.

One thing I notice-- I can be tired, or nervous, or preoccupied when I'm wandering the hallways. But all that goes away when I walk into a patient's room. It's like... suddenly everything focuses. Then I walk out, and I'm sluggish and drained. When you offer yourself to be used by God, God takes the offer seriously, you know?

Then, like most evenings, I spent some time with Gram.


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