A Reflection About  Prayer

Reverend Harlan Ratmeyer was my instructor for my chaplain training at Albany Medical Center.  He is a storyteller and his stories are full of wisdom.  As part of one story, he advised us, "Don't say a prayer in someone's hospital room because you need it." 

It was all part of that delicate balance in ministry of sharing your vulnerability but not making it "all about you."  In some situations, the grief is so deep that no words can touch it and may even deepen the grief.  At these times, silence is best.  I may need the prayer, but this moment is not about me. 

Ministry comes in many forms and the conversations abut "the meaning of life" and the exixtence of God are less common that you would think.  In my last rounds at a nursing home, my ministry consisted of undoing someone's buttons that she was unable to reach and finding an earing in the pocket of a purse.  These acts are a form of ministry. They are what was needed at that moment. of course, I also hod these two women in my heart, which is also important.