Role reversal

Pastor as patient
When I began in ministry, I would enter a hospital room with a bit of trepidation, as if entering a strange and alien land, because I was not sure what I would encounter there and how I might respond. I wasn’t yet used to the sights and sounds and smells of this land—the sight of someone hooked up to every manner of tube, the occasional snoring or groaning of a roommate, the antiseptic smell that sometimes barely conceals the various human smells that infuse the air. I didn’t know the customs of this land either—for instance, whether I should stop praying when a doctor entered the room, or whether I should introduce myself to the doctor, or whether I should leave the room when the doctor begins the consultation (the answers are no, yes, no, and sometimes yes, no, yes).

 

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