Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I never heard the term before yesterday, but now I'm completely charmed by the idea. "Godwinks" (on encourage courage. How could they not?

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Debra W said...

Oh yes, the idea of Godwinks is wonderful! I have the book that was written about Godwinks as I used to read a lot of spiritually based books for my work in Spiritual Care at the hospital. It was written by Squire Rushnell. I have it sitting on my nightstand.


Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, what's your work in Spiritual Care?

Debra W said...

For three years, I worked with the chaplains at my local hospital as a Spiritual Care volunteer. I went though a four month training program and then they set me off on my own to provide spiritual care for the patients. Once a week, I volunteered, visiting patients. My position was that of a lay-chaplain, so to speak, and I would sit with patients or their family and friends and discuss their spiritual needs. It always amazed me how open people were to my presence during a very trying and private time in their lives, but I suppose those are the times when we feel a real need for spiritual connection. I tried to provide that conduit. I would let them know why I was there and then I would just sit and talk to them. Sometimes, I would just listen and that seemed to be enough. Other times, I would try my best to describe my ideas about God or theology or whatever the person seemed to need to talk about. I always concluded by offering prayer. It was interesting to me because more often than not, after taking someone's hands and reciting a very non-sectarian prayer, their tears would begin to flow. That always touched me because so many people I met professed to be "not religious". I think that the tears were as much of a surprise to them as they were to me. It made me realize that no matter what people say about what they believe, there is one thing that everyone needs. Connection. Regardless of what else I was or was not able to provide, I could give them that much.

I loved working there, but as my illness progressed, I had to cut back more and more. I always say that I would like to go back and do it again when all of my girls are out of the house. I hope to be able to do that. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Somehow, I knew that I was in the right place at the right time.

I didn't mean to go on and on, but thanks so much for asking. It is a program that every hospital should have. I have learned to use it outside of the hospital when I feel a sense of need in someone.

Have a wonderful evening!

Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, it's clear that you're very good at this work. I think you're doing it here and in your blog, in addition to in person. It's a wonderful gift.