It is my privilege to be the house chaplain this week at Grant Memorial Hospital here in Petersburg. Although I have previously covered for others, this is my first official week as chaplain. And to make it even more interesting, Mon. and Tues. I was away for continuing education with my supervisor and others. Now that I've been back a few days, I feel like I'm really hitting my stride. Several of the patients recognize me now as I've visited with them a few times. A couple of them waved when they saw me coming while others smiled.
There were a couple of outstanding incidents today in my visits, however. In the first instance, when I glanced into one of the rooms, I only saw one patient. The second bed in the room was stripped, so I thought her roommate must have gone home. I looked again and there she was sitting in the corner. She is a woman of great faith. In today's conversation especially, it was evident that this lady has been walking with God for many years. She shared with me some losses she's had over the years. Our fellowship in Christ was sweet and as we prayed together, God's presence filled our hearts anew.
It has been a very ecumenical time as I have listened to, sat with, and prayed with Baptists, Church of God, Assembly of God, Brethren, Methodist, and those with no denominational affiliation. One couple I visited (the husband was the patient) said they were friends of my supervisor and his wife. They said so many kind and wonderful things about him that I just had to agree with. Having Pr. Larry as a mentor and supervisor has been a wonderful thing.
Another gentleman I saw today asked me to pray for him as I had just barely walked through the door. I am continually in awe of the deep faith I see here. People are hungry for the word of God and for faith. God keeps reminding me to keep my ears and eyes open as to what the Spirit is up to.
What was interesting was one man was telling me how for a while he had stopped going to church. There had been so much bickering, quarreling, and in fighting. In recent years, because of the influence of his wife, he has made his way back to worship. When I got home and read the daily scripture passage from the ELCA, it blew me away. It spoke so clearly to that man's concerns.
Internship has been wonderful so far. I am looking forward to the continuing lessons God has for me.