God's light in our darkest moments

January 30th, 2017

I’m a pastor and student of theology by trade. I have been briefed and taught in the ways of sitting at the bedside of sick patients in hospitals, and I have learned how best to sit in silence with a family as they face difficult moments in places like an ICU. None of this prepared me for the week I’ve had. My mom has been in the ICU for the past three days after a massive surgery, and to see her in a vulnerable, albeit well-cared for, state has challenged me to rethink the moments we have in hospitals.

In spite of these dark moments, I have had an upfront and personal seat to witness the best of humanity. I’ve seen my Uncle Bill sit with my mom and scratch her back. I’ve seen my Uncle Joe bring my dad food and help him face this situation. I’ve also seen my fiancée take time away from work simply to be available, and my grandmother insist that she be present for the sake of comfort.

All these moments are instances of light piercing through the dark night, and they have brought me great hope for what the future holds. These moments have also given me context as a pastor for what it’s like to be at the mercy of a hospital and the care-given. This has also given me context because as clergy, we are called to face moments of uncertainty and face them with the audacious hope that God is working, redeeming, and restoring even the most horrific situations in the hospital setting.

I know my mom will recover well; this is just a bump in the road (okay, it’s a big bump). But I know that God, whose very own I am, has equipped me and countless others for this moment. We look to the future with a strong resilient hope.

So a word to the wise for those facing hospital situations or those pastors going to care for others: in these moments look for and to God. In these moments, look for and to clergy. In these moments, look for and to family.

In our darkest moments, God’s light shines all the more. Thanks be to God for this light, because the light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

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