Plugging In

Recently, I received a referral from a Trauma ICU nurse, requesting my assistance in helping a patient make arrangements to charge his cell phone.  After meeting with the patient, I found myself, thirty minutes later, sitting in the lobby of the ED, keeping watch over his cell phone while it was plugged in at the charging station.

“Is this truly considered to be pastoral care?” I thought to myself.  “It is not offering care from the spiritual or emotional perspective, but it does address a concern of this patient as well as takes the burden from the backs of my other colleagues.”

As we each reflect on the various roles and responsibilities represented here in this room, we may hold specific ideas on how we influence the care of patients and their families.  However, from this incident as well as many others, I have discovered that “plugging in” to others’ struggles sometimes involves extending ourselves beyond our defined roles in order to address the expressed needs and desires of others.  Thus, this does not only show our diligence to our ministry to those in our care, but it further demonstrates our dedication to work as a team by serving each other.

Let us pray:


As is reflected in St. Vincent’s logo of the three doves, I ask that You guide us in not just “plugging in” to the issues regarding the body, mind, and spirit of those who approach us for care but also to the burdens that our colleagues carry daily as they journey alongside us.

In Your holy name I pray,



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