Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Confounded Clergy | The Coma Chronicles

I received a phone call that my daughter had been found in a coma.   So, I went. The hospital was clearly designed by a student of Escher.   I had gone up, down and sideways trying to find my daughter. So, I stopped a White man and White woman wearing badges.  
Me: Could you direct me to the Intensive Care Unit?

They blinked at me. Mouths performing a variation on slack jawed befuddlement. The man snapped out of it.

Man: Oh. The ICU. It’s straight down the hall to the left.

Me: Thank you.

Halfway down the hall, the woman comes puffing up behind me. And I understand clearly why they were so clearly dumbfounded by me.

Woman: I didn’t answer you at first because it took me a minute to understand what you were talking about. The way you said it. In t e n siv e. Care U nit. (repeat) I’ve never heard anything like it before.

Me: (smile and continue walking) Well, I’m glad we figured it out.

Woman: What brings you to the ICU?

Me: My daughter found her way here.

Woman: Oh, so you are meeting her? Who are you visiting?

Me: (stops in my tracks and turns) I am visiting her. (continues walking.)

Woman: Oh. Oh! I’m so sorry. (scurries after me)

Me: Thank you.

Woman: Oh. Oh. I’m okay to talk to. I’m with the Chaplain’s office. 

(flashes her badge. as if. 
that. 
makes any difference. 
to me. 
right now.)

Woman: Oh, I just love the way you say things!  What brought her in?

Me: Most likely a car. And as I understand it, a man.

We reach the In t e n siv e. Care U nit.  She flashes her badge.  It opens the door.  

Woman: Well, God bless!  

Me: (smile and nod.)

I see my daughter. As I’m leaving, the Woman catches up to me picking my way up, down and sideways through the maze which is this hospital.

Woman: How is your daughter?

Me: She is in a coma.

Woman: Oh dear. You must be beside yourself! Oh, how awful! Do you know why she is in a coma?


Woman: Oh. Dear. How tragic. What kind of events? 


Woman: Do you think you’ll recover? If it’s all right with you, I’ll pray for her.

Me: Prayer is always a good thing. 

Woman: Are you Christian?


Woman: Oh. Okay, good. I have to ask. Because I wouldn’t want to offend anyone. I’m Christian. But, not everybody is Christian.

Me: That is the truth.

Woman: Oh, I feel so bad for you. You are such a powerful woman. I can feel the faith radiating off of you. Everything is going to be all right.


Woman: Oh. You are amazing. Okay, well, if it’s all right for you. I’ll pray for her.  I can go in her room and pray for her. I’ll just let them know that you said it was okay.

Me: It will be more than okay. If she ever needed a Come To Jesus Moment, it is right now. 


Me: (unspoken) Knowing her, all that Jesus up in her face is sure to scare the Devil right out of her. & I wondered. Will this Confounded Clergy Woman ever get any of this later?

1 comment:

Rev. Alma Faith Crawford said...

Jesus protect us from your servants!!!! I have punched a few. Ironically, chaplains typically write up a dialogue version of their encounter with someone they "helped" like this and share it in groups of mutual admiration. Naturally, they have no cultural training.

So, apologies for my colleagues. At the last moments when you have patience for other people's ineducability.