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"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
A lesson in Hospice ministry.
I called the Primary Care Giver (PCG), in this case, his wife, to see how they were doing and to set up a time for me to visit and explain the Chaplaincy part of Hospice care.
This was how that phone call went:
Me: Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I'm one of the Chaplains with Hospice.
PGC: A chaplain? Are you a pastor?
Me: Yes, ma'am. I am.
PCG: Oh, blessed be! You know, I know they told me something about that at the hospital yesterday but I just plum forgot! Oh, this is wonderful! Praise God!
PCG: Wait? What! You'll come to the house? Oh, Lord! This is amazing! So incredible! Such a blessing! When can you come by?
Me: Well, whenever it is convenient for you and your husband. I can be there as early as, well, within the hour, actually. Or, if you prefer, I can come at a time that's most convenient.
PCG: In an hour? Here? Oh, that would be such a blessing! Oh, I can't believe this! A pastor! Coming to our home. To minister to us! I thought only pastors in churches did that and then, only when they can fit you in. You know?
Me: Yes, ma'am. Well, I can be there within the hour. Would that work for you?
PCG: Oh, it would! That would be wonderful.
Wait a minute! I'd really like it if he had a bowel movement before you arrived . . . . Hold on! ....
(The sound of footsteps on the hardwood floor).
Honey, do you feel like you have to have a bowel movement?
I said, DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT?
No? Did you say No? Just shake your head, darlin'. Okay, no bowel movement yet. Good!
Okay, then, I'm going to have the pastor come by.
THE PASTOR. THE HOSPICE PASTOR. SHE'S GOING TO COME AND PRAY WITH US BUT I DON'T WANT YOU GRUNTING ON THE POT WHILE SHE'S HERE. OKAY?
(The sound of footsteps on the hardwood floor)
Me: (Sending up praises to God that she can't see my face and prayers of thanksgiving for the mute button on the phone.) Well, yes. There it is, then. Okay. So, I'll be seeing you in about an hour, then?
PCG: Oh, thank the Lord. We are surely standing in the need of prayer, pastor. Praise God you are going to be here soon.
So, it was just another day of ministry in the Fields of the Lord in Lower, Slower Delaware.
Because, you know, when you are looking into the abyss, all filters are off.
Which is great.
And, if they never really worked well, it can be hilarious.
Anyway, sometimes - not all the time, but sometimes and for some people - praying is better than pooping.
That's what I always say.