Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 30
July 26, 2021
It was difficult for me to refrain from hospital calling during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have done a lot of hospital sick calls in my thirty-seven years of ordination. For me, hospital calling is more than part of ministry, it is personal. I know from the point of view of a patient how important visitation is.
When I was 10 years old I had surgery that went badly. I was very ill. People were wondering if I would survive or not. Amid the doctors and nurses poking and probing me, a friendly visit was always a treat. I did survive, but appreciated visitation.
At 29 I was deathly ill from Crohn’s disease and an allergy to medicine that I was given. I spent weeks in the hospital. About the only pleasurable time for me at that period was visitation. I vowed then that visitation of the sick would always be a priority.
When I pastored in Albany I volunteered as an overnight chaplain at Albany Medical Center. It was intense work and I did it for six years. I was told by a number of people how important such visits were. I felt gratified that I was able to be there for patients and families.
Calling on the sick has been a pastoral priority for me for decades. Then, the Corona Virus hit and hospital visits ceased. I felt like something was missing from my life and ministry. Finally, restrictions were lifted and hospital visits returned.
Shortly after these restrictions ended, I was called to the hospital. A beloved elder was in ICU. I held here hand as we prayed and I realized what I had been missing for over one year. I was missing Holy Hands praying for Healing.
Yes, I have been back almost every day visiting this woman holding hands, praying and asking for healing. I wonder if any ministry can really be complete without the presence, touch, and prayer. Jesus encountered, touched and prayed. Let all of us imitate Jesus in these activities.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/