The Candy Dish

Someone said to me that “it’s all about the story” but I did not fully understand the deeper meaning of that statement.  I think I do now.  It gradually became clearer as I paid attention to the relationship between the candy dish I, that I keep fully stocked with a variety of sweet treats and the people that visit it.  The office that I work in is located in the main hallway of a small critical care hospital that serves a rural area.  Many of the people take deep pride in “living off the grid” and can be intensely guarded about their lives.  Because of the great location of the office, almost all staff, many patients, visitors, and outpatients pass by.  While not necessarily seeking out a conversation with a chaplain, the candy frequently draws them into the office.  Often, as each person pauses to make a selection, they enter into conversation.  Gradually as they continue to stop by, it seems that they come to feel a greater sense of safety and welcome.  For many, the quick stop for candy develops into a longer stay as they talk about their concerns, joys, challenges, losses, fears, hopes, and a myriad of topics that they carry in their hearts.  So, IT is all about the story - of our lives that wants to be shared. I feel very privileged to participate in this unrecognized aspect of heath care.  It is not cardiology, but it is tending to the heart of things.

Where do you find a place to share the story you are carrying?

How are you encountering the sacred in unusual places?

Linda Hunt, O.P.
Spokane, WA

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