An Advent Message from the Methodist Chaplains: Hope
In celebration of the Christian season of Advent, there will be an Advent wreath in the chapels at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital, and each Wednesday, there will be a short devotional written by one of Methodist's staff chaplains.
These reflections can be read here on Employee Connections or picked up in the chapel. Scroll down for the message for the first Sunday of Advent.
The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begins on December 12, and there will be a menorah placed in each chapel.
It is our hope that during these seasons and celebrations, you will find quiet moments to sit and discover something meaningful and life-giving for you.
Grace and Peace,
The Methodist Chaplains
Advent: Week 1
This weekend, I was in Chicago, sitting in a restaurant eating my breakfast watching the busyness of the city fly by through the window. The waiter came up and filled my coffee, asking if I was here on business. I shared I was the chaplain of a hospital and explained that it was similar to a pastor, but in a hospital. He said, in broken English, that he lives his life by the five things God calls us all to: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, visit those in jail, clothe the naked and invite the stranger in. He went on to say that he thinks that many people live in their own jails, that have no bars. They live in their own personal prison, where they struggle to find freedom.
Here in the hospital, we see that every day. Patients struggle to find the freedom to move and live and breathe the way they used to. They struggle to find the hope that they once had because they are now imprisoned in their body and in their new reality. As chaplains, we hear constantly the desire to “not give up hope” and to keep fighting. While we may not be able to fix whatever is happening within that person’s body, we do have the opportunity every day to help make space for the healing of a person’s spirit.
As their caregivers, we have the ability to create space for hope and freedom. Sometimes that looks like a resolution to a medical issue, but many times it does not. Creating space for hope means helping a person find something within themselves that can look to the future, whatever that future may hold. It could be gaining back a bit of functionality or maybe it is the hope that comes after death and the release of pain.
I wonder what would happen if we deeply listened to our patients and their families, if only for a few moments.
I wonder what would happen if we asked what brings them hope, joy, peace and love in order to look to the future and find healing in mind, body and spirit.
This season, no matter one’s religion or belief system, we can all find ways to bring about hope in each other and hope for those around us.
– Chaplain Melissa Strong