No adventures overseas this summer. However, I have been on a different journey of a lifetime…my internship at the hospital. For 10 weeks, I am working as a chaplain intern. Basically I see patients on the oncology and neurology units. Mostly, I work with patients who have leukemia, MS, and have had a stroke. I am mostly grateful for the relationships I can build with my patients.
On a daily basis I face life and death. It’s the nature of a hospital. This has brought up a lot of different understandings, questions, and fears that I personally have. It’s good though, really good.
The last week, I got to lead a chapel for my fellow interns. I shared a poem that has come to me in reflection of my internship. The style is slam poetry, so hopefully you can hear the rhythm simply reading it. Enjoy my friends.
Started this Clinical Pastoral Education, also known as CPE
to start a journey of discovering my pastoral identity.
After hours of orientation, tours, and meetings,
I’ve finally got to visit my patients and give them my greetings.
Neurology and oncology are my units to which I’m assigned
dealing with MS, Stroke, Leukemia, and the white cell count design.
How do I deal with my 86-year-old patient who has no more hope?
Don’t you know sir it was just one stroke?
Hey Steven how are ya dealing with Leukemia at just nineteen?
I’m sorry you missed your graduation; I know that was your dream.
To my Uruguay patient who happens to be a missionary,
Thank you for the ministry you actually gave me.
Miss lady Doctor, Alice can’t speak but she still has a voice,
Please stop talking about her like she has no choice.
And p.s why are you yelling?
Just because YOU can’t hear HER doesn’t mean she cant her you.
Let’s start treating everyone with a sacred human dignity, it’s the least we can do.
I’m left with a conviction, why haven’t I been praying for a cure?
Surly I could do that for all my patients endure.
So here’s to a new life of Monday through Friday 8 to 5 crunch,
of badges and beepers, to pantyhose and packing my lunch.
Of learning to confront death everyday
and valuing life all the more on the way.
So God, as I do this day-to-day grind, hear my heart and hear my cry,
keep me grounded and trusting in you, even when I start to question why.
Now for a benediction, a little encouragement on your way,
A simple hope and prayer for you today:
Whether you’re an intern, resident, patient, doctor, or someone in between,
May you have the courage to face whatever comes your way, and on our Creator will you always lean.