One of the ineteresting part of our experience at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children a couple weeks ago was role reversal. The vast majority of my experience in hospitals has been as pastor. I visit with, indeed, sit with family and patients through times of uncertainty and discomfort.
Two weeks ago this morning, Rachel and I were on the other side. There were no other families in the surgical waiting area when we arrived, soon after leaving our Eliza, our 18 month old beauty, in the arms (literally) of the Anethesiologist. It was a quiet ride on teh elevator to the waiting area. I felt like if I opened my mouth to say anything I would begin to cry.
Chris Mesa, Senior Pastor at Austin Avenue UMC, with whom Rachel works, was with us for this ride. Don Scott, our District Superintendent was waiting for us in the watiing room. Joel Robbins, a pastor and good friend of ours soon found us there as well.
The five of us sat and talked. I remember a lot of laughter. I don’t remember whether or not we talked about the surgery or not. I do remember not feeling like speaking would release a flood of tears.
Before we knew it, the pager went off, and Rachel and I headed for post-op for a report. The time had passed so easily, so well, that it felt like no time at all.
I don’t know if my presence has ever provided anything like the kind of comfort that was offered to me. I can only hope that it has.