Last friday evening ... March 23 ... I was the oncall Chaplain for the local hospital. It was a very long day and I was just settling down to change into my jammies and drink a cup of camomile ... having forgotten my commitment. Within half an hour of my last client, I got a call from the hospita asking me to come in for a death.
Half an hour later I was faced with 40 something parents who had just lost their 10 month old baby boy.
This is not something there are easy answers for.
I stumbled through the next 3 hours ... not knowing what to say, what to do. I felt I was in the way, but stayed close to them anyway.
Praying over the baby
Committing him to the Lord
Praying over the parents
Praying with their sister
Praying .. praying ... praying.
I went home that morning, feeling that I had been of little use because I didn't have many words to say at all. I just sat there, looking at them. Staying with them when the coroner came in to look at the baby, while the detectives came to talk to them (standard proceedure in our area) ... walking to their car...
I finally went home and slept for a few hours and then did what any self respecting pastor would do given this circumstance:
Question my call
And then I picked up a paintbrush and painted the livingroom, diningroom and kitchen. Steph helped me ... see previous post for good news!!!!
Later in the week, I got a call from the local funeral parlour. The director wanted to know if I was willing to take the funeral for this little boy. The parents had been so comforted by my presence at the hospital.
Thank You Jesus!
So I embarked upon one of the most difficult and yet fulfilling weeks of my life.
I couldn't understand why the Lord had me start a fast just four days before this death. I assumed that it was for my husband ... but quickly realized it was for this family. As of this date ... 2 weeks later ... I am still fasting, but that's another story.
I started writing the sermon. There are few places on the net with instructions for pastors in this case. Several for a baby dying in birth, but few for one who dies at around the year mark. I talked with every pastor I knew well and none of them had ever been there ... each one prayed ... but each one said there is no way you can come through this and not be impacted.
I sat at the computer. And quaked.
God just took over and He produced a lovely work for them.
Stephanie sang as the casket was being brought in and again at the cemetery when we released what seemed like a hundred balloons into the air. The stayed around for the longest time, little bright coloured dots in the air... very moving.
I found during this week, the very thing God created for me to do ... brought the comfort I had been looking for. That in the death of a precious child, I found the life I had been searching for ... and the purpose of life ... to comfort others.
I need to keep writing ... sharing ... praising God!!