The Sacrament of the Sick
The last two weeks have been challenging to say the least. About two weeks ago, I had to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix. Pretty common, I know, but still, surgery is scary! I'm never really sick, and I'd never been to surgery or even admitted to the hospital before.
I was scared, to say the least. But I was also in pain and sick, and so I could ignore the fear in order to just let the surgeon do his work.
Somehow the hospital didn't get a record that I was Roman Catholic, and so no chaplains visited me, until a few days later when they visited the other person in my room. Fr. Jim brought her communion, then asked me who I was and offered me the Sacrament of the Sick and Eucharist. He anointed me, said the words, and I burst into tears, my first since the surgery. I was so immediately relieved, and also suddenly aware of how frightened I had been for days. I felt God's presence with me, the warmth and love flooding over me with the prayer and the oil. Remembering that feeling still brings tears to my eyes.
Sickness makes us feel helpless, vulnerable, dependent on those around us and on God. Although I'm physically getting better, I know I need to think more about this experience, pray more with it and the lessons the vulnerability offers. One of my friends told me that God loves me even when I feel like I can't do anything--what humility it takes to accept that love when I feel I have nothing to offer in return.