Wednesday, December 17, 2014

“Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…”

“Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…” In the Old Testament book of Isaiah 42:16, we read “Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Note the words ‘unfamiliar paths’, ‘darkness’, ‘rough places’, ‘I will not forsake them’. Hospice patients and families are traveling very unfamiliar paths. This is a fact that sometimes gets lost among us who are hospice professionals. Death seems almost commonplace to us. But, it isn’t for our patients and their loved ones. Their ‘path’ is fraught with darkness and rough places. They may even feel forsaken by the Almighty. Our work is one of comfort. In the previous chapter of Isaiah, there is a cry from God to, “Comfort ye my people!” Being a comforting presence will go a long way to helping our patients and families on their journey through ‘unfamiliar places’. Perhaps you might read this verse to those who are open to it. May this beautiful passage bless you as you bless those you serve. May the wellspring of compassion be opened in you as you reach out in care. May soothing words find a home in you. May tenderness bless you as you reach out to comfort body, mind and spirit. In the midst of fear and frustration may courage be given to you. When difficult decisions confront you, may wisdom inspire you. May patience keep vigil with you and may peace of mind calm you. May your heart find a song to sing, even when you are weary. May abundant life lift you and gratitude bless you as you live the mission of care entrusted to you. Amen, so be it. Pat Bergen, CJS

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