Who was the mysterious chaplain that sat with us throughout the night our son was in the hospital?
Posted in , Aug 24, 2011
Bouts of pneumonia and severe asthma had dogged our child since birth—but never like this. Sitting in the hospital waiting room, my husband and I didn’t know if he’d survive the night. We’d been at Grandma’s house when his lungs suddenly seized up. Epinephrine injections didn’t help. Now he was on a ventilator.
The nurse checked in on us from time to time to see if we needed anything. Otherwise, we were alone with our worries. Until a chaplain entered the room. I expected him to say the obligatory prayers, wish us well, and move on to others in need. And indeed, he sat across from us, leaned forward and bowed his head. But he said nothing.
Perhaps he doesn’t want to intrude, I thought. Still, I was grateful for his presence. His silent prayer was comforting. I tried to sleep. Each time I briefly opened my eyes, I saw the chaplain there, deep in meditation.
After a restless night, the first rays of dawn finally crept through the window blinds. The nurse entered the room. “Your son is out of danger,” she said. “He’s going to be fine!” My husband and I raced to his bedside.
Afterward, we asked the nurse how we could thank the hospital chaplain for waiting with us so long during the night.
“The chaplain?” the nurse said, puzzled. “He’s on vacation.”
“So who was sitting in the waiting room with us?” I asked.
“I checked on you all night,” the nurse said. “You were alone.”