As we pour out in service of God, we need to be replenished. I count myself blessed for having completed the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Module 1 course in April.
The three-month training in counselling has increased my capacity as a pastoral caregiver to the sick and suffering at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH).
Providing spiritual care to patients at their bedside is an important aspect of the Chaplaincy ministry. Here, we create an opportunity for them to express their feelings and help them to find SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals in their lives. Patients find relief from these interpersonal therapeutic sessions.
One of the challenges I face is hearing out patients who are grappling with the experience of amputation. I remember vividly the anguish of one patient who could not bear to tell his wife in Bangladesh that one of his limbs was getting removed on that day. He felt that the shocking news would traumatise his wife and their two children who were expecting him to return home, recovered and “whole.”
Yet another unforgettable encounter was my meeting with a patient and his wife. On the day his limb was due to be amputated, the couple had to go through the terrible agony of accepting this reality.
Although resigned to the fact that a few hours later he would lose one of his legs, the man pleaded with me, saying, “I have two young children; I just want to provide them with something to eat and to manage the family. Pastor, please pray for me.”
These are real stories of people who need comforting words. They need to be counselled with realistic goals which will really help them to face the realities of a significantly altered life. Sometimes such incidents challenge us from a humanitarian view.
Pray for the ministry among the sick and suffering and for the miraculous leading of God in my family, too.
— Rev Jim Paul, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, C0-MP with AsiaCMS