Some Patient Conversations Just Linger

Yesterday was not normal, if there is such a thing in chaplaincy. I spent four hours making patient visits, only visiting with four people. In that time I might normally see three times that many folks.

That means I had several indepth conversations. They were each different — in substance, in emotional tone, in breadth. Each was driven by what that person wanted to talk about, though sometimes with gentle prompting.

I’ve learned that indepth conversations take me longer to post-process, and that’s true today. One in particular just keeps coming to mind. Partly it’s because he talked about the effects of his disease on so many different aspects of his life. And partly it’s because of the depth and at times rawness of his feelings.

It’s an honor to be entrusted with someone’s deepest thoughts and feelings. But sometimes they are also kind of heavy to carry around. I’m thankful for a God with infinite capacity to accept my burdens and those of the folks I minister to. Today there’s a lot to turn over.

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