“How can you be around dying people all the time?” Almost every day, I get asked this question.
I am a Hospice Chaplain and I reply, “Working with hospice patients and families is an act of obedience to God. Walking in the call from God is my honor! If God didn’t call you to be a hospice nurse, CNA, social worker, or a chaplain, please don’t do it. When God calls someone, He also equips them. God prepares a life over a period of time so that a person can be prepared with passion, gifts, and desires to serve others.”
It is a privilege and honor to be with a patient and their family at the end of life. It is at this moment that some patients want to know about heaven and what an opportunity to share the love of Christ and the scriptures about eternal life! It’s amazing to hold a patient’s hand when they take their last breathe on Earth because their next breathe is in heaven. It’s an honor to cry, to laugh, to embrace, and to listen to the memories of family members sharing about their loved one.
This is God’s calling for me. God has prepared me for such a time as this. God has mandated me; God has filled me with His love & compassion for the sick & dying. These people have one foot planted in this world & one foot planted in heaven. The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a season for everything. My season is to pray, to love, to serve, and to share the good news of the Gospel.
So how can I be around dying people, you ask? How can I not?
Written by Terry Reilly
Terry was a pastor for nearly 30 years. He has also taught students how to drive as a Driver’s Education Teacher for over 35 years. He is a father to 4 sons and the Papa of 6 wonderful grand kids. He enjoys spending time with his family. Terry loves serving people! He loves sharing his faith and feels that it is a privilege to care for people at “end of life”, focusing on living not dying.