The Clinical Pastoral Education summer internship at Darmouth-Hitckcock Medical Center is leading me to meet God in a whole new way. Every Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. I am asked to visit patients in the Intensive Care Unit. I usually knock on the door and ask: “May I come in?” If the person allows me to come in, I then say: “my name is Carlos, I am one of the chaplains here at the hospital. Would you like to talk?”.
With those patients that welcome a visit, I have had the deepest conversations of my life. Most of these conversations have one thing in common: the patients always tell me stories about their loved ones. It seems that when someone is sick, recovering from surgery or even in preparation to die, they always revisit places in their lives where they loved or were loved.
Usually in the morning, when I am on my way to the Intensive Care Unit to start my round of visits, I think to myself: “I am going to meet God today”. And indeed, it is He who meets me in these patients, in their stories. One of them, a 91-year-old woman told me one day: “You’ve got to love someone to really know what this is all about”.
This is why I ask myself and also invite you to ask yourselves: Have I ever really loved? Do I feel like I could reach 70, 80 years of age and be able to go back and revisit many places where I have loved or have been loved? Have I ever given It all for the sake of loving?
God, who is love (John 4: 8) is meeting me every day in these stories of love between spouses, between parents and children, grandchildren and between friends.
Dear all, let us take every opportunity to love; let us create many stories of love that we may be able to share when we reach the most vulnerable time of our lives!
By Carlos Londono