I'm approaching the end of my first year in hospice chaplaincy. Most people think I'm crazy when I tell them what I do. "I bet you spend a lot of time being depressed." While there are some emotionally painful moments, for the most part this job has been nothing but rewarding. I've met so many amazing people–patients, family members, the members of my team. Before last April, I never saw myself doing something like this. Now, I can't imagine doing anything else.
Greenville is a city with a lot of problems. There are racial issues, a painfully obvious economic divide, and other things that show the invasiveness of sin. And yet, death is the great equalizer. In the past year, I've had well-to-do patients. I've had patients living in poverty. I've had black patients and white patients. Each have, for the most part, been gracious and thankful for the help our staff provides. I've only heard of a few patients with racial issues–and they were white people who didn't want a black nurse. So, for the most part, death eliminates the things that divide.
My patients don't care that I'm a middle-class white male. They simply care that someone cares enough to sit with them, talk with them, listen to them, and pray with them.
Why can't we live more like we die?