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Thursday, June 6, 2013

I met Him in a foxhole

by Caroline


Religious Services by Paul Rickert (National Museum of the U.S. Army)

Yesterday, before I left for my pastoral care day at the hospital, I started grumbling to my husband; fatigued and bearing a list of things that needed to get done, I was looking for an excuse not to go. Of course he saw right through me and gave me this challenge:

They’ll be one person there today, whom you’ll least expect to be the one the Lord wants to encourage—
Look for him and text me later.
Off I went…still grumbling of course, while recalling a portion of the Rule of St Benedict which says that grumbling and faint heartedness are a failure to remember the goodness of God. I prayed, "Lord forgive me and

…prepare my heart and body for the battle of holy obedience to Your instructions. What is not possible to me by nature, let me ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace."
        —The Rule of St Benedict, Prologue 40-41

Halfway through the morning rounds, I was in the moment, but still plagued with the mental background noise of all I needed to get done.until I entered a room on the fourth floor.

The patient by the window on my list was asleep, so I prayed softly by his bedside and turned to leave, smiling as I passed his roommate. But, before I made it to the door’s threshold, he spewed a litany of complaints with fervor, frustration and an assortment of colorful expletives.

"Nobody gives a bleep about me in this bleeping place."

Read more about Caroline's experience with this patient at  Bell of the Wanderer. 

Note: Early this morning (June 6), Caroline's site was down. It's back up now. If you tried to go there and couldn't, please try again. Sorry for the inconvenience.


  1. Caroline, this is one of the most striking pieces I've read anywhere, and I am thrilled to see it here!!

  2. Caroline, how beautiful! How quickly God worked through you to soften this dear man's heart! You truly have a calling to do this hospital pastoral work. I think you must have many "children" in heaven praying for you. Hospitals can be such lonely and scary places..what you do is priceless. God bless you!

  3. Nancy and Patrica...You're always such a source of encouragement and I thank you.
    The patients I meet and their stories are like treasures I think I'll carry in my heart forever...What a blessing they are. +


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