Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Church at Primary's

When we're inpatient at PCMC on Sundays, I always try to make it over to Sacrament Meeting.  It is a spiritual feast every time.  The little branch there has several things going for it, including a 30 minute meeting instead of the 70+ minutes usually held.  Yeah, it's a bonus for those like me with ADD who have a hard time sitting still that long.

For those who are unfamiliar with this, which would probably be anyone who hasn't been up there on a Sunday, the LDS branch is run by the stake whose geographical boundaries take in the hospital.  There is a  very short sacrament service, no announcements, no ward/branch business, a special musical number and one speaker, and of course, the sacrament is passed.  At the end of the meeting, they let you know that if there are others who wish it, the sacrament will be taken around to the rooms.  Also, if there are children or youth who want Sunday lessons, there are those who have prepared them and will come teach them in their room.  They truly do minister to the individual.

But that aside, I've learned I always grab tissues on my way in.  The Spirit is always so strong there.  Even this Sunday, when I was just waiting on William to get there to pick us up, it hit me very hard.  Following are some insights I had.

The musical number this week was "Abide With Me".  The beginning of the second verse starts out "Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day."  For so many, many in that hospital, that little day draws much closer than we, as mortals, think is right.  But our Lord and Saviour knows the master plan and I have to trust Him.  As we sang, "Change and decay in all around I see, O, thou who changest not, abide with me," it struck me again how much I depend on my Savior.  He will not change.  He will not leave me.  He will not leave my son.  "When other helpers fail and comforts flee," He is the help of the helpless and will always abide with me.

As I sat in that room and looked around, I realized, maybe for the first time, possibly what makes these meetings so special.  I think for so many of us, we go to church at 9:00 or 11:00 or 1:00 or whenever we've been assigned that year, because that's what we've always done.  It just is.  It's a habit, a good one, but a habit none the less.  Sometimes, we go really seeking the Spirit, but often I think it's just something we do because it's Sunday again.  In that room, on the third floor of the hospital, there is not one person who is not focused on the reason they are there instead of in a home meeting.  Most people there have a family member who is a patient.  Those who come to help, also realize how fragile life can be.

For some of these kids, the stay will just be a blip on their life's radar.  Yeah, back when I was seven, or was it eight, I got a really bad tummy ache and had my appendix out.  I even went to church in my jammies.  But for others, they will spend much of their life in that hospital.  It will become for them, like it has for Aaron, a second home.  It's a Children's Hospital.  Every patient is a child.  It seems so foreign to most that a child should be sick or hurt.  They're supposed to be outside, running around making noise, or drooling as they stagger-walk in that controlled fall that a toddler has.

And that is why I think church at the hospital is so precious, so special.  Everyone in that room has the need and the desire to feel the comfort of our Heavenly Father.  Everyone knows that they need Him so very much.  And knowing our needs, He fills them.

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