Thursday 23 September 2010

Goin on up to the Spirit in the Sky

When I first found out I was going to be the mother to a premature baby, the first thing I did was go to the chapel at the hospital. Our chapel is very simple, but a quiet refuge in a busy hospital. It is also extremely thoughtfully placed right near special care!

I became well known, padding down at all hours, to write in the prayer book, or leave a little note for the chaplains. Funnily enough I didn't call for a chaplain to come to see me the night I was so frightened awaiting my c-section, because, this wasn't an emergency! Not in my head, I was just having a small early baby and to would be fine! Fine!

Anyway, having lurked around the chaplaincy service for 3 months, I have now been asked to do a talk at their conference. "Spirituality and the Patient Experience" is the topic, and its such a hard thing to speak about. The age old questions of "what is spirit" and what differentiates spirituality from religiousness float around in my head.

To me, the song that means the most to me in terms of my spiritual journey is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2, which U2 have always maintained is a gospel song. 

But I guess what we are really getting at is what do people in crisis need in terms of spiritual support. To me spirituality is wholeness, its supporting that part of the person that doctors, midwives and nurses can't reach. To me spirituality and hopefullness were tied in together. It's also the power to deal with the great unknown. To leap with faith, knowing that there is a cushion to fall on.

And that's what I found within the walls of our tiny hospital chapel, and most importantly, the people within it.

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