Monday, March 31, 2008

Student Pastor Experience.

When I was a student at Candler School of Theology, I was assigned to Piedmont Hospital two days a week as a Chaplain.

One Tuesday afternoon, as I checked in, the Full time Chaplain was away and someone from ICU had called for a Chaplain. I went immediately to Intensive Care to council with some family and friends of a 20 year old young man who had been seriously injured in a Saturday night fight in a bar.

He was the room mate of three girls who had brought him in. His sister and other relatives were finally notified and had arrived from South Carolina to the hospital, upset and fighting mad. The young man’s sister especially was angry that the girls girls had not notified the family earlier.

In fact, as a soon as they arrived, they had the girls removed from ICU and forbidden to come back. Period! The girls were livid, especially the 17 year old who was in love with the young man and had sat by his bedside day and night.

I spent several hours listening and praying with first one group and the other.I was reminded again how much these young people and all of us, at crisis times in our lives, need the presence of friends and chaplains and pastors. But above all, our need is for something beyond …we need God.

When I finally had to leave those troubled girls at Piedmont Hospital and stood up to pray for them, they put their arms around me and around each other and surprised me with a hearty “Amen” and left the hospital for the first time since the young man had been brought in.

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