Today I graduated from a year of Chaplaincy Residency and four units of Clinical Pastoral Education. Yippee me!
Working in a hospital with oncology patients I have witnessed such courage and grace. I have learned so much.
I have learned …
… how the seemingly simple act of listening can be enough to change a person’s day
… that you have to listen with your whole self, not just word listening but listening with your eyes and heart
… that you have to take people where they are, not where you want them to be
… that God is present in every conversation in a hospital room, even when God isn’t mentioned
… that your life story can change forever in a single moment with the word “cancer”
… that sometimes fighting cancer is an act of love for one’s children or spouse or partner
… that sometimes not to fight is the courageous thing to do
… that accepting one’s mortality is still a shock to many people
… that once you accept you are dying every day becomes precious and the chance to see your grandchild one more time or sit in your garden one more time and feel the breeze on your skin is all it may take to make you happy
… that life is truly a gift – every day, every sunset, every kiss