Saturday, July 12, 2008

What's Coming Up...

There have been a lot of things going on...lots coming up. I'm still updating the service for the 20th. Hopefully that will be fully outlined today. I threw out the Noah's Ark idea with the puppet. But the theme of hope will still be one of the things involved. I will post more once it's fully outlined.

Monday my supervisor from UCONN is coming to the hospital to have lunch with me and Karen (and Janet if she comes to lunch). Karen let me know that her recommendation to Dan is going to be that I get career counseling because she still feels that I need to pick either chaplaincy (and go to seminary) or social work (MSW). I'll be interested to see what Dan's reaction/comment is to that.

Edit: After I wrote this, I remembered that MUSIC is on Monday. I emailed Dan to see if he could come early to see that in action since I've already talked about it...and one of the kids did something REALLY cute on Friday (he discovered that he can step on my foot pedal and hold on to me to climb in my lap...SO CUTE). I would love to see if he does it while Dan is there. But I was a really big chicken when I talked to him on Thursday about him seeing me in I'm not sure if it's too late for that to happen or not. I emailed and paged him just in case. (But I don't know if I did the page right lol.)

I discovered in talking to Dan just how serious the idea of changing the way I pray is to me. I know that it's affected my experience at HSC in that I haven't brought up praying with patients because of it. Since it's something that's really intimate and I don't believe that it's something that can be watered down or generalized, I haven't really known what to do with it. Karen feels that praying and "God talk" is how someone is pastoral. The God talk has happened in a lot of my conversations with people. And I feel like one of the ways I've been pastoral is in that I've given patients and staff and family members/visitors the ability/space to share their stories with someone. Even though I've been on one particular unit the whole time, people have still been sharing their stories with me as of yesterday. And it's something Karen has even been surprised by from the very beginning.

I take their stories etc. and pray about them on my own, whether anybody knows it or not. That way I am not imposing God or prayer or faith on someone who hasn't brought that up...but things I've heard in their stories are still being brought to God (whether that person believes or not). And patients, staff, and I have seen prayer answered although those prayers weren't things that happened with all of us together.

This all makes me think of 1 Corinthians 12 where it talks about spiritual gifts and how each part of the Body of Christ has different gifts and that we have to work together.

Hopefully that's something I'll be able to explain accurately on Monday when we get together. THEN on Tuesday, I'll have to explain to the group how angry I've been with the group about their reaction to my bringing how serious the idea of taking Jesus out of my prayers is to me. A lot of people have explained to me that I can just replace Jesus with "Light" or something else that is an attribute of God/Jesus. But to me that's the same as my telling someone about you and my friendship with you, but changing your name because I am ashamed to let someone know who I'm really talking about. We have had discussions about ritual and religion, but nobody has yet verbalized a personal relationship. So that will be an interesting discussion. Hopefully I'll be able to articulate it in a way that I won't end up getting angry or upset, and hopefully nobody else will either. For others, I do realize that it's probably hard for them to HEAR me say Jesus...just as it's hard for me to take Him out of my prayers. And it'll be interesting to have to articulate that even in a primarily Christian/Catholic country (which we have talked about the U.S. as being), I have been ridiculed and mocked and put down for what being a Christian means to me. Especially in being a pretty conservative Christian! Hopefully I'll be able to articulate all that in a way that people will be able to REALLY understand where I'm coming from.

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