2019-03-01 / Chaplain's News

Can you hear me now?

Chaplain (Capt.) Rex Hipp
Eisenhower Army Medical Center

I recall the commercial that aired several years ago from Verizon Wireless, and the main focus from the spokesman was the term, “Can you hear me now?”

This advertising commercial promoted their network’s superiority supporting clear communication that brings connectivity to others. Seeing this commercial promoted introspection causing me to ask the question, “Do I truly hear what my family, friends, and patients are sharing with me?”

By asking this thought-provoking question, I realized the need to be more aware of “what” people are truly trying to say.

My approach to spiritual care and theory of the human spirit connects people together through love. Eugene Peterson, a theologian stated, “Love is the most context-specific act in the entire spectrum of human behavior.”

In my faith tradition, love is the substance, meaning we have a lot of forgiveness to offer, supporting the healing process. Forgiving makes room for a healthy celebration. The time of healthy celebration can be another expression of love. Spiritual care and clinical practice are vital for human healthiness. I learned this connection through my availability allowing myself to deeply listen to a person’s story.

Availability may be determined as “being completely open and willing to embrace what the family member, friend, staff member or patient is communicating, even when I feel anxious about the situation.”

I have learned we can all bring peace and comfort through offering love toward others, no matter how uncomfortable we are about a person’s story or situation. We can all start by allowing ourselves to deeply listen, supporting healing for ourselves and others. Connection will allow both parties “to be heard” with compassion.

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