Part of my chaplaincy training involves reflecting and processing the events of the day. I use several methods to help me re-order my thoughts and re-focus. This poem came from an experience of what we call “the ministry of presence.” Just being there – as God’s person. Imperfectly reflecting God’s compassion and love, but there nonetheless.
Hold my hand as I cry
I couldn’t find the words to say
As the doctor explained that things were grim.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, as he quietly made his way out.
The family sat there, numbly, stunned,
Searching each other’s faces, groping for the right words.
I was a by-stander, supporting, listening,
Waiting near-by without hovering too close.
The wife looked up, saw me and said,
“Hold my hand as I cry…”
We walked to a smaller waiting room.
We sat in silence, she and I.
I did not break the poignant pause, but waited.
Tissues clenched in her other hand,
She stared across the room, tears flowing.
There are no words that could be said,
No Scripture verse, no platitudes that comfort.
So we sat. She cried.
And I held her hand…