For some reason as I was falling asleep last night I thought of this incident and thought I’d share it here…
During the summer of 2004 I completed my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. I’ve told many people that this was “the best worst experience of my life” but a few incidents really stand out to me.
One night I was on call, which means that I got to spend from 4:30pm until 8am the next morning at the hospital wearing a pager – and if anyone needed a chaplain I was johnny on the spot. One night the pager wouldn’t stop – all night it was going. I don’t remember all the calls but I know there were a lot of them. It was late, probably around 11pm or so and I was leaving one call and really wanted to go back to the on-call room and sleep. As I was beginning to make a right hand turn toward the on-call room I heard a “silent voice” say go to the office. And, I did it. When I did I found a voice mail from someone outside the hospital, asking for someone to go visit a woman who was in the emergency room. The visit itself was important but more important to me was that in a truly silent voice that I didn’t even audibly hear, but more so just recognized, I ended up being exactly where I needed to be.
Later that night (I’m pretty sure this was the same night) I had made at least one or two more calls, and they were all tough by that point. It was around 2am and I was walking once again back to the on call room and I walked in, sat down, and was almost afraid to go to sleep for fear of being woken up by the pager, and in the same “silent voice” I heard earlier I heard said “It’s okay, you’re done.” Sure enough, the pager did not go off again until my alarm woke me up at 8am