Taking time to visit someone in the hospital is always a good thing to do. If you have ever been a patient in a hospital you know that it can be very boring and lonely, to say nothing of being worried about the illness that brought you there. I would encourage everyone to make time to visit those in the hospital. They need a friendly face and some words of encouragement, and you need the blessing.
But, of course, there can be those comical, unexpected times also. These are the times that extra spice is added to ministry.
One such time was when my Pastor and I visited a church member in the hospital. Ralph is a retired, large, strong man and he was in the hospital for some minor tests. I had only been on staff at the church as the Minister of Music for about a year. When we arrived, Ralph’s daughter was there visiting her dad also. Neither of us had met her before. After some small talk Ralph looked at his daughter and in a very upbeat voice said, “This is John, our music director. And he is a fine, fine music director!” Then he glanced at the Pastor and in a lower, less exuberant voice said, “And this is our Pastor.”
I felt embarrassed for her because we all got it, but Ralph didn’t and he just kept talking. Well, you could see the blood drain out of the preacher’s face for a moment. He had been Ralph’s Pastor for about six years before I came. Of course I couldn’t help but giggle a little and glance his way out of the corner of my eye. He was stunned. It’s a rare and cherished moment indeed when a preacher is stopped in his tracks and does not know what to say.
Well, believe it or not, I was allowed to stay. Actually we enjoyed a good laugh over it on the way home. But it was a choice moment and one that I will not let him forget.