I’ve been writing a new brochure this week, one I hope to use in my work as a hospital chaplain, but also want to make available to others if it would be helpful.
Much thought and prayer has gone into this project, as I visit with people in waiting rooms, or have conversations with those who wait. It is not an easy time. I know well from the waiting seasons of my own life.
Waiting is not confined to hospitals and doctors offices. There are so many kinds of waiting. Waiting to grow up, waiting for pain to end, waiting for big events such as marriage or the arrival of a child. It might be waiting for reconciliation with someone we love or waiting for doors to open when others have shut behind us. Sometimes we don’t know the outcome of our waiting, but find ourselves in a “Waiting Room” period of our lives.
There are many verses in Scripture that I find comforting around this subject… and King David was probably the most prolific in writing about waiting… in fact he waited a dozen years to be king as he fled from the wrath of King Saul. Psalm 62 is one of my favourites…
The verse that I have sat with this week as I thought about waiting is this:… “Those Who Wait on the Lord shall renew their strength!”. From the prophet Isaiah, who also knew waiting well…
So this is a part of the brochure I hope to print. I would love your feedback.
... just a bit about the doodle-art… as I drew this word, WAIT, I began to see the word in an enclosed room… and sometimes the waiting is so large, we can’t see the way out… but there always is. I drew a path… with surprises along the way… so we take time to find joy in the present, there are flowers, and words of comfort. These were my reflections as I doodled…
From the brochure:
We live in an instant culture.
As a result it can be hard to be patient. And it can be very hard to be a patient. Or perhaps you are the caregiver. Everything has stopped while you sit and wait.
Here are some simple strategies that might help:
1. Breathe.… take time to breathe, being aware of your inhaling and your exhaling. Breathe deeply. It calms the body down. It is good for you. You can try breathing exercise like breathing in love or peace. Imagine it entering your body. Breathe out anxiety and fear.
2. Live in the moment. Sometimes the worry scale goes way up when we don’t know the outcome. It can be easy to imagine the worst. Bring yourself to today. Look around at beauty, at people you love and who love you. Notice the kindness of others, and practice acts of kindness. Smile at someone, and they will probably smile back at you.
3. If the waiting is days or weeks or months, plan each day. Schedule good things, like reading an uplifting book, listening to encouraging music, taking time to call someone and talk to them. Take time to create a gratitude journal. Write things you are grateful for each day.
4. If your wait is in a waiting room, or hospital bed, find creative ways to spend your time. Sometimes what we really need is sleep! Ask for earplugs if needed! Simple creative projects such as doodling, knitting, or writing can bring a sense of accomplishment. Ask for paper if needed and a pen. One patient I met unfolded her paper medicine cups and created little pieces of art. They brought her joy and helped her to pass the time.
5. Praying. If faith is part of your life, prayer can be a way to connect to God the Creator and Healer. Sometimes it is hard to pray when we are afraid or angry, or uncertain. Praying the Psalms or a Prayer Book can help to guide our thoughts and prayers and can lift our spirits.
6. Talk to someone. It might be a conversation in a waiting room, or finding an advocate to speak on your behalf. There are many helpers. Counselors, social workers and chaplains can listen or help guide you to resources. Sometimes a simple respectful request of “I need help” can go a long way.
I hope to print this brochure soon, and have it available at the hospital where I serve. I also print all of my brochures and booklets for availability elsewhere.
To date I have written four other brochures:
1. Exploring the needs of those who grieve
2. Poetry for the Grieving Heart
3. When Tragedy Comes
4. When Staff are Impacted by Grief
and the 5th will be: While You Wait.
Also available are two other resources:
A booklet of my blogs: “Gifts for the Journey”
and a guided Journal: for Hope and Healing.
If you are interested in any of these resources, I can always be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org