October 23, 2017

A Central Part of the Mission

NOTE FROM CM: It was back in Nov. 2009 when I wrote my first piece for IM, an interview with Michael Spencer about pastoral care for the dying. The timing was ironic, for it took place right before Michael became ill with cancer. You can read the entire interview HERE. Today, in light of several […]

“Wisdom” and the Fog

Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. What is desirable in a man is his kindness… • Proverbs 19:21-22, NASB • • • I stand on top of a rise in the road. Before me, a valley stretches, still shrouded in fog. Behind me, the sun has […]

Nick Lannon on Lessons from Jr. Seau

From Derision to Compassion: The Death of Junior Seau by Nick Lannon Posted at Mockingbird on 5/9/12, and used by permission Nick’s blog: My Series of Tubes • • • It was like a switch was thrown. I was at an open gym, shooting baskets with a bunch of guys, talking about the news of […]

The Coffee Cups

The night was long, his sleep restless. Two or three times he reached across the bed to feel her warmth. He reached and reached. Once, her absence bothered him so much he got up, put on his robe and walked downstairs. He sat in his chair and listened to himself breathe. An occasional car drove […]

Wednesday Morning

By Chaplain Mike Monday, he spent five or six hours with a friend whose spouse, also a friend, had died. He sat while the grieving husband puttered and dealt with details. He made small talk, answered a few questions, and waited for an OK to call the funeral home. Tuesday, he attended another death, this […]

Angels Unaware

By Chaplain Mike The hospice chaplain walked into the room, finally seeing the patient he had put off visiting all day. It is not that he had been hesitant. The patient, Mr. Gibbs, was scheduled to be transferred to a bed in the hospice unit, but earlier in the day, he heard that they were […]

A Funeral Rant

By Chaplain Mike I have been officiating funeral services since I was 22 years old, a young know-nothing pastor in the hills of Vermont. My first funeral was for an infant who died of SIDS. That service was held on the coldest, rainiest and iciest day I can remember. Outside. At the cemetery. It was […]

“A Meeting” (Wendell Berry)

A Meeting In a dream I meet my dead friend. He has, I know, gone long and far, and yet he is the same for the dead are changeless. They grow no older. It is I who have changed, grown strange to what I was. Yet I, the changed one, ask: “How you been?” He […]

Ask Chaplain Mike: The Grieving Process

By Chaplain Mike Today’s Question In your experience with hospice care, what is your approach to grief of those surviving the loss of a loved one? Do you think Christians tend to sugar-coat, suppress, neglect, or even ridicule the grieving process? After all, the loved one is in heaven/a better place; why should anyone be […]

Guest Post: A Mere Lump of Humanity?

Today’s Post is by Adam McHugh Note from Chaplain Mike: Back in March, we reviewed Adam McHugh’s fine book, Introverts in the Church. Adam is not only a writer, but also a hospice chaplain. I wrote him and asked if he would contribute a hospice story because I thought it might be helpful for our […]