All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Creating a Caring Presence Week Three: Listening and Caring Skills, Chapter 3: Perception Check Reply To: Week Three: Listening and Caring Skills, Chapter 3: Perception Check


Mary M. Wrye

Ok… I’m going to try this again. I wrote several paragraphs last night and then evidently I hit the wrong key and lost the whole darn thing.

This course has reminded me that being fully present, listening, staying silent, speaking scripture, checking our perceptions, absorbing what someone is saying and then reflecting it back, offering words of comfort and hope, being the face and heart of Jesus… is what we do. Not just for patients and their families but for the staff we work with. I have had the CEO, senior management, as well as front line staff in my office in the course of my 14+ years here because they needed a safe place to talk things through. I feel honored that they trust me with that. And trying to do all the above all day every day (which is the expectation of our position from those we work with/for) is exhausting. Carrying another person’s information/heart with nowhere to lay it takes a toll on me emotionally and spiritually. And yes I pray – but it is wearing.

So the question becomes… why don’t I just go do something else? I have asked myself that question many times. The answer always comes around to – this is exactly what God gifted me for and called me to do. I can’t imagine doing anything else. Being there as you all have described to listen, laugh, dance, cry, hug, and hold hands – is the best gift of all. Standing with others on their Holy Ground is pretty awesome. And the reflection on the Good Samaritan’s taking care of himself by calling on others to help – was a great reminder for me who thinks I can/should/need to do it all myself. Thank you for highlighting that part of the story for me.

As Stevenson-Moessner said in her Primer – we may not be able to do what others do and comparing ourselves is futile. But “she visited, she called, she loved”. My prayer has been that if there are only five words spoken at my funeral, they are “she showed up and cared.”

It has been an honor to hear your stories and your ponderings these last three weeks. Blessings to each of you.