Time to Sojourn
By Jesse Stroup, Director of Spiritual
Care - Dallas
A Doorway into
Thanks, and A Silence in
Which Another Voice May Speak.
- from Praying by Mary Oliver
The hospital census gave his name, room
location, and age, 84. Entering his room I found a man
with white hair and crystal blue eyes. A tube to his
nose supplied him extra oxygen. He had a distressed
countenance. (Ill call him Mr. McCall.)
Mr. McCall, my name is Jesse Stroup.
I am with Lifeline Chaplaincy. I am wondering, Is
this a good time for a brief visit with you, or not?
"I reckon so, but I cannot talk much
because my oxygen level goes down when I talk a lot
thats why my children are not here because I like
to talk to them.
Whats the doctor saying about
you today? I asked.
Oh, I really dont know, but
this is the third time this year I have been in because
of my lungs. He broke eye contact and looked down.
Respecting his statement, Shouldnt
. I said, You look downcast.
Silence lingered. I abruptly asked, Do you feel
like you are dying? Still silent he answered by
nodding his head Yes, and his eyes moistened.
His answer weighing heavily on my heart,
I asked Are you a believer, that Jesus Christ
is Gods son? He nodded Yes.
Tell me about how you became a Christian,
Oh, my wife was a devoted Christian,
and she got me going to church with her. I have not
gone much since she died two and a half years ago.
He named his home congregation. He nodded Yes
to several names I recited from his congregation, and
tears trickled down his flushed cheeks.
Are you afraid, I asked?
Yes. Again silence.
You might appreciate this verse
from Psalm 23 that often gives me comfort and hope,
I replied. Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou
art with me. Then we prayed and I soon left. Our
shared conversation touched me deeply.
When we go to the bedside of the sick,
God shows up, often speaking in the silence.
Information - click on links:
Chaplaincy On The Move! VIDEO
Are The Dallas Volunteers?
Soft Touch Ministry
SERVING GREATER DALLAS AREA
University Medical Center
Regional Medical Plano
Charlton Medical Center
Southwestern (St. Paul & Zale Lipshy)
Affairs Hospital Lancaster
Lifeline Chaplaincy Dallas office:
51926 Chattanooga Pl. Ste A
Dallas, TX 75235
888-767-6363 (toll free)