Anne MacDonald DCS (Deacon of the Church of Scotland) is Healthcare Chaplain for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Here, she has written a prayer for us on the theme of 'new life'.
Lord, here we are in Advent – a time of looking forward, looking forward to your coming as a baby more than 2,000 years ago.
Advent a time of waiting, yes, but much else is to be attended to in the meantime.
Life continues with all its challenges and opportunities.
Lord God I think of my place of work – a large general hospital.
Such a large number of people working in and from there.
So many people receiving care in one way or another and so many who are near and dear to them coming and going as they express their concern for loved ones.
Heavenly Father as I think of the hospital my mind wanders to “medical receiving” which can be so frantic at times but in so many ways it is such a vibrant place.
Keen, enthusiastic, energetic staff all doing their bit in working with the many people who pass through there.
So many people suddenly, unexpectedly, dramatically find themselves admitted to these wards.
Some will very quickly be discharged home after a short stay.
Others will be transferred to other areas of the hospital or further afield for further investigation or treatment.
For more than a few of these patients they will have life changing situations to cope with, such transitions Lord.
I have the privilege of meeting some of them at different stages along their various roads of recovery.
Many grateful for the skill, care and expertise of those who have cared for them along the way.
Grateful Lord that they have the opportunity to pick up the pieces and work at being the best they can be, often having to work so hard at adjusting to life changing conditions.
New life indeed.
Sadly there will be those who will die in the unit.
Some of them so tired and wearied, so ready to depart this life.
Others seem just so young and with so much to live for and it would appear that they are taken too soon.
These are situations Lord God that seem for me to raise so many questions that just don’t have any answers.
When there are deaths in the unit it is the case that so many family members and friends speak of the excellent care received not just by the patient but by them also.
I have seen it myself Lord, such love and care and concern by staff members, all part of the team in one way or another, for those in their care.
Those young in years and their working lives/careers and those more mature in years and with more work and life experience also.
But Lord God it is so true that, “every day is a school day” and we all have so much to learn.
Staff here have so much to cope with, all the ups and downs, stresses and strains, the tugs at the heart strings because life here can be so emotionally draining.
Such a wonderful staff group, may they work at looking after themselves and continue to be a help and support to one another in all the work that they do for the good of the unit.
Medical receiving, a place of such energy and in so many ways so full of life.
Advent, new life, the baby born all those years ago.
We look forward and prepare to celebrate new life, his coming.
May we, this Advent and always, as we go about whatever work you have called us to do in your name be glad and rejoice that we can know you in our lives this Advent season and always.