Because we are a multi-staff church, the ministers share in the pastoral care duties. My days at the hospital are Mondays and Wednesdays. I made my rounds this morning to Central Baptist and the UK Medical Center, then was called back to the hospital this afternoon to be with the family of a man who is nearing the end of his life.
I’m new here, so I don’t know a whole lot of people and I had yet to meet this man and his wife (except for a very brief greeting during my audition weekend). I was a bit hesitant to try and provide pastoral care during such a traumatic time for a family I didn’t know, but that is one of the wonderful things about ministry. You just never know where God is going to call you to serve and you often feel ill-equipped to answer the call. Of course, if we always felt fully qualified to serve in ministry, there would be no room for God to work.
In the midst of this family’s very difficult time, I experienced God’s presence in very powerful ways. The family was very gracious and welcoming to me. In some ways I feel like I was the one being cared for, which may have been therapeutic for them. I heard some wonderful stories about the family, the church and the history of the Lexington area. There were tears, laughter and a lot of hand-holding. And God was there, in the midst of us, whispering “all will be well” in each of our ears.
I’m praying for this family tonight. They will be eating their Thanksgiving meal in the hospital cafeteria, which is an experience no one should have to endure. I am thankful to them for their strength, their vulnerability and their faith. I have a feeling there are many, many families like this at Crestwood, and I am feeling blessed once again to be serving here.