Chasing Tears

Since I moved to Maine, I have been crying a lot. It's one of those things that you are not supposed to admit. And I hesitate to tell most people because then I end up with a pity party on the other end of the phone, which doesn't help either. But, it's true. I have been crying a lot. I have shed many tears simply from being lonely. As one of my friends reminded me via email this week, it takes 2 years to form real friendships in a new place. I couldn't help but think about the number of associates that feel God pulling them elsewhere after two years. Is that ironic?

This week, my tears have not been as much about being lonely. Instead, I was surprised by a spurt of tears on my way to church on Wednesday morning. I had been at the hospital the night before ministering to a family. Their father and husband is dying. He collapsed of a heart attack on Monday and has been undergoing various treatments until Tuesday night, when he was put on life support. I went to visit with the family.

Obviously, it was an emotional experience. And I thought that I might cry for sadness, but that's not what happened on Wednesday morning. I cried out of the joy that this is my calling. I am called to be by bedsides. No matter how many tears I might shed. No matter how lonely I am. I am called to be right there. And now, my mind races wondering how the family is. He was taken off life support on Thursday afternoon. I know. I was there. But, he was still alive on Friday morning. I am having a tough time enjoying my weekend as I wonder how this family is doing. As I busy myself with errands, I wonder if they are beginning to make funerary plans. I suppose it is the burden and the joy of our work. But, it's hard to focus. It's hard not to curse my laundry and race to the ICU to see how they are. It's hard when you are called to be by bedsides.

1 comment:

Magdalene6127 said...

Pastor Peters, thank you for this frank and moving post. I do think you are called to be by bedsides-- one who cries tears of joy at the privilege of walking with people through these moments is one who is truly called.

Thank you for the honesty you always display in this blog-- you are willing to be vulnerable. That is a double-edged sword in ministry, but, on the whole, the right way to be, imho.

I share you concern about the Edwardses by the way. I can't help worry for that family, the children especially. They say no one looks back at the end of life saying "I wish I spent more time at the office." I fear Elizabeth Edwards might have some regret if her husband's campaign robs that family of precious hours together.