Monday, December 18, 2006

And Now for Some Cynicism

So as you can tell from my post below my week has gotten a bit more complex... and that's ok.

Tonight a member of my congregation called and asked me if I could come in tomorrow morning to the hospital and pray with her before she goes into surgery.
Seems like a reasonable request... I guess.

To me it seems to be a bit much since I will need to be in there by 5:45 in the morning and the operation is... wait for it....

...outpatient knee surgery.

Is it wrong that my inner cynic - and tomboy - just wants her to 'man up'?

Where is my Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care when I need her?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you go and see her after the surgery? Can you go to her house tonight and pray with her? You have a little baby -- I would say that you've got to stick with your boundaries on this one. Say how much you'd like to be there, but that it is not possible... Good luck!

TheoOnTapintheBurg said...

You totally need to get one of those APs - they are awesome. Especially those that live in southern states and are paid to visit people in the hospital!

But I know some (oh, like me maybe) who would tell you - NO WAY! I agree with Alex and think tonight would be just fine.

will smama said...

Yeah, that was not a request for advice. I tried both of those things... didn't fly.

It is what it is.

cheesehead said...

I offer no advice...just ((((ws))).

TheoOnTapintheBurg said...

Sorry. Sucks when you try your "boundary maneauvers" and they don't work! They rarely work for me either.

Listing Straight said...

This won't help either, but I think it is okay to stick to your thoughts on this one.

And she might get upset, but that is okay. You can't please everyone. That's not your job.

Of course, this is easy for me to say... I wish I were up there. I'd get up and go at 5:45 for you...

will smama said...

I hear you all, I really do but here is the thing. I realize that prayer is not hocus-pocus, BUT if I didn't go and pray with her and if something - God forbid - did go wrong I would feel a lot worse than I will when my alarm goes off tomorrow morning at 5:30am.

ppb said...

Wait, your alarm is going off at 5:30 and you have to be there at 5:45?? Do you teletransport?

I got no advice for you. Only sympathy. And shame. Because until I read this I was whining about an 8 a.m. meeting I have tomorrow.

Jim said...

Prayer over the phone? I think I might have just offered a prayer for her right then and there as we were talking on the phone. It seems a bit weird, but does it really matter if the prayer happens this afternoon or in her presence at 5:45??

will smama said...

you're right PPB - 5:15, but that's my final offer.

Thank you Jim. I did pray with her on the phone and I think the point here is that yes, to her it does matter when and where the prayer happens.

There is a quote by Maya Angelou that says that people will not remember what you say, they will not remember what you do, but they will remember how you make them feel.

By going I will make her feel important and in her world somehow 'safer'.

That, to me makes it worth it.

Anonymous said...

I hate hate hate the mornings with the heat of a supernova.

You're a good gal.

Songbird said...

I went in for one of these, but it was in the late morning. My parishioner was terrified of the anesthesia and fully expected to die from it, yet needed the surgery. When I got my Bible out and said I wanted to read a Psalm she looked totally freaked out until I said, "It's Psalm 46." She was afraid I was about to walk her through the valley of the shadow of death.
This is a hard call. No one has asked me to go in on an early one like that.

will smama said...

Songbird, folks here asked me why I don't automatically go and visit folks who are going in for surgery and I told them that not everyone likes that. I totally freaked out a parishioner when I was interning when I showed up with my pastoral prayer book. He thought for sure he was a goner!

Songbird said...

The Catholic priests at our local hospital tell me they engage in racial profiling. If they have an older male patient with an Irish surname waiting for surgery, they don't visit. Those old guys DO NOT WANT THE PRIEST before the surgery for the same reason you mention. The Franco-American patients? A whole different matter, as are the Italians.
I was deeply amused by this.

Songbird said...

Let me add that on any given day one priest at a time is covering 300-400 patients, so they are triaging.

Kathryn said...

Oh heck...I know I'd be with you in feeling I had to go, but also feeling more than a bit grumpy about it. I hope that at least the Boy slept peacefully and that you were well rested before your dawn call.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I did not mean to make it worse by offering advice!

Lorna said...

just think - such an early start you'll get loads done :)

(((hugs)))) this isn't right - not really. But you said Yes and it will be ok :)

will smama said...

Thank you all for your support. It went fine this morning. I even came home and got another two hours sleep.

As I told a friend of mine, this is how you love the rural church. More than any other parish setting, a ministry of presence is what these folks are looking for.

Thanks again!

Listing Straight said...

After all I've done I'm still considered a friend? You MUST be tired...
I am thankful.