My First Hospital Visit and Epic Failure

I remember my first hospital visit.  I was a seminary student living in a very bad part of town.  Once the neighborhood discovered that our house was filled with seminary students, our front porch became a frequent hangout for the homeless looking for a bite to eat, a place to relax, or an opportunity to tell stories. 

Calvin was a regular visitor.  We eventually moved a couch onto our front porch and invited Calvin to crash anytime it would be a benefit to him.

After a year of Calvin sleeping on our porch on a regular basis, we were notified that he was sick.  Really sick.  During my first hospital visit, I learned Calvin was dying of AIDS.  I nervously made my way into the room and attempted to comfort Calvin and his girlfriend.  I failed on an epic level.  Eventually, I muttered some words and began to shuffle out of the door.  

Calvin’s girlfriend politely asked, “Aren’t you going to pray?”  I sheepishly moved back toward the bed and prayed.

I left the hospital that day and cried out to God, “If I’m going to be a pastor, I’m sure going to need your help.”*

May I never stop voicing that prayer.

*Extreme understatement. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5

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