I was listening to a "Prairie Home Companion" re-broadcast on NPR the other day, and it featured musician John Prine. At one point, he sang his own composition, "Hello in There," and I stopped loading the dishwasher to listen and wipe the tears away. That song is such a beautiful, poignant picture of old age and opportunity – a dual reminder that all of us (our parents, loved ones, me, you) will eventually reach our expiration dates, but also that now, while we're younger, we have so many chances to touch the lives of others already close to their own.
And I thought of you, because you'll be touching lives like that this fall in Fundies. Maybe you already do as a volunteer or nurse's aide. Or maybe you have very little experience with the elderly, maybe even none at all. Either way, this fall you'll be ministering to such folks and sharing your life with them – via the nursing skills you'll be acquiring in class and the lab, but especially through simply listening and being present. As you anticipate such encounters, I hope you'll consider the profound mystery they represent, for in fact they're opportunities to minister to Jesus himself (Mt. 25).
Welcome to nursing and our nursing program. I'm looking forward to accompanying you as you learn to embody Christ as a nurse-apprentice and then put that learning into practice. It will be an honor to serve as your first clinical instructor and a privilege to continue my own learning and practicing right alongside you.
Know that I've been praying for you this summer; please pray for me. See you soon!