I have never been very good at visiting people in the hospital. I am unsettled by the smells of disinfectant that do not quite mask the sick-room odors of medicines, and of the cloying, private aromas of the human body. I seem, always, to get lost in the maze of hallways. The sight of blood makes me dizzy.
You might think that I would be the last person to ‘shadow’ hospital chaplains in their daily patient rounds, and an even more unlikely person to visit with patients and family members on a big-city hospital’s Intensive Care Oncology Unit. Maybe so, but as a master’s student embarking on an independent study of my own design, my fears and anxieties – especially, my own spiritual uncertainty – quickly took a backseat to the amazing displays of compassion and faith that I witnessed there.
Walking the Sacred Landscape with a Hospital Chaplain