Absalom: tears and new beginnings

Preaching Wednesdays are my favorite days. On a preaching Wednesday, my classmates in preaching class and I get to share our sermons with each other.

Yesterday, I got to hear three gifted preachers, the last of whom was my lovely friend, MK, with a beautiful sermon on the death of Absalom. Seriously, it was beautiful.

And it is the inspiration for this post, and brought a lot of insight to the rest of my day yesterday.

Her sermon dealt with David’s mourning over the death of his son, Absalom, and the fact that God, just as God heard David’s cries, hears our cries.

If you know me, you know that I’m kind of a robot – feelings, tears – not really my thing. But, the sermon made me think a lot about the importance of the process of mourning, and the refreshing that comes later –

especially in light of my mentorship this semester at SWCH.

When I got to the hospice yesterday, Chaplain Cutter was having a discussion with one of the nurses (he’s often said to me that, if I wind up working in a hospice/nursing home/hospital setting, the nurses should be my best friends, because they know everything, they can provide insight on which patient needs what kind of spiritual care that day, and they need to know that they can come to you when they need spiritual care).

After that discussion, I sat in on an interdisciplinary team meeting, then we visited patients. And by “we”, I mean “I”. He let me go solo this time, with 2 patients.

Patient M is so ready to go that last week she pronounced herself dead to one of the nurses. I knew that going in, so I was super nervous. She carried the conversation, though, and maybe just needed to be listened to for a while. She’s ready to go, not afraid and when I asked if she’d like to pray together, she was only too eager to say yes.

Through her tears – for her husband, and for herself having to lay there all day and all night – she said please pray for me that I don’t have to live this life anymore.

We prayed for peace, and for comfort,

and then I went to visit patient A.

Patient A says she’ improving, she loves it there, and she’s very thankful to be in a place with so many caring people. Patient A requested prayers for her son who is having surgery, and for continued improvement for her.

Through both of these experiences, I realized that expressing your feelings can be cathartic, and even though I’m not an external expresser of feelings,

I need to be the kind of person who creates a safe space:

for tears,

for cries to a God, who does hear,

for new beginnings.


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