Tutus, Besties and Pastoral Authority

I’ve recently taken to wearing a tutu over my clothes when I do my rounds at the hospital. I’ll be the first to admit, seeing a grown woman wearing a tutu over traditional business casual wear for no obvious reason might be cause for alarm: maybe a signal of a mental breakdown of some sort or an overload of stress. But, I’ve learned that it’s a great ice breaker with the kids, especially the little girls, and I grow increasingly and more thankfully aware that I can get away with a lot of things in my residency that I won’t be able to do if I don’t stay in pediatric pastoral care. Wearing a tutu around the hospital is one of those things.

I made it last week, for my very much anticipated dinner at the home of Grace and Maggie. We used to have weekly dance parties, so I just thought it fitting that I come dressed for the occasion. They put on their tutus too and we danced to Mozart – we’re very classy. We didn’t wear our dress up clothes for dinner, of course, but we had a blast the whole time. While everyone was sitting down, Grace took my hand and informed me that we are best friends. I said “Grace, I’m glad to hear that because I told my friends at work just this morning that you and I are besties.”

The interesting thing about wearing a tutu around the hospital is, as much as I should feel ridiculous, I feel great. One of my goals for the semester is to embrace my pastoral authority that I began to discover in the intern unit. I find it amazing that it took a tutu and a few things learned from my four year old bestie to really drive home the point: I’m a pastor, and I have an in with kids because I see them as full people

… and because I’m not afraid to dance around the hallways in shiny white and blue tulle.

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