General CBF

I felt your prayers: Being the presence of Christ as a hospital chaplain

The following post is from Angela Lowe, a CBF endorsed hospital chaplain, and chair of the CBF Council on Endorsement. Lowe is the director/staff chaplain at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas. This post is part of a series celebrating Pastoral Care Week. Find other posts here

Chaplain LoweIt appeared to be a routine day of chaplain ministry as I walked through the halls of the hospital. I had visited with several newly admitted patients during morning rounds. As the afternoon hours began, I found myself doing follow up visits with those patients who had been hospitalized for several days. I quietly walked into the room of one of the palliative care patients. His beloved wife of 60+ years of marriage attentively sat at his bedside holding his hand.

For  some reason, there was not another chair in his room, so I stood beside the patient’s wife as she shared stories of their life together. Her husband had been a photographer during WWII. He had smuggled his film canisters across enemy lines to capture the images which spoke louder than mere words. He had barely escaped death in many situations when he had to dodge bullets while diving into a foxhole.

His wife’s voice quivered when she softly stated that she had daily thanked God for protecting her husband during those war torn years. She was grateful that he had been such a caring husband, loving father and grandfather to their children and grandchildren. His wife stated that he was indeed a man of faith—honoring his country and loving his family.  Then, she was silent and her tears softly rolled down her cheeks.

I gently placed my hand on her shoulder.  I began silently praying that the Spirit would give her comfort, strength and hope as her husband was gradually progressing toward that place of safekeeping. I remained beside her, continuing to offer a ministry of presence and prayer for several minutes. Then this grieving wife broke the silence by quietly stating, “You just prayed for me, didn’t you?”

I responded with a “Yes.”

She quietly said, “I felt your prayers.”  Then several more moments of silence.

“Thank you for being with me.”

I am genuinely grateful for providential care which allows me to be the presence of Christ.  During this Pastoral Care week, more stories about the Spirit working in and through us will be featured in the CBFblog.  I encourage you to continue following and reading these inspiring stories in our “Celebrating Pastoral Care Week” blog series.  Thanks always for your prayer support as ministry happens down the street and across the globe.

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