By Sister Pam Nosbusch, OSF
In my ministry as a Hospice Chaplain and dealing with the dying on a daily basis, I know I have to balance this out with having fun and spreading joy. Fortunately for me, there are many more days where this is possible than days it is not.
One thing that helps me balance my ministry and fun is by being in a choir at my church. I both sing and play my clarinet. I know on Wednesday evenings that it will be a fun and creative time. We are a small, close knit group who enjoys each other’s company.
Another place where I find fun and joy is in the office. The office is where we can say things we cannot say anywhere else. We have our internal office jokes and ways to support each other that brings some levity to our working/ministry lives. Sometimes the levity comes in complimenting someone for a job well done. I don’t think it’s a “news flash” that someone’s heart can be lifted and be lighter by having someone acknowledge their good works.
A hug can do wonders to bring a lighter heart to someone. In the office my co-workers know if they want or need a hug they can come to me. These hugs lighten both my co-worker and me.
I had a patient who each time I saw her would tell me the same story about a dog she had growing up. I would always tell her she had not told me the story before because it brought her such joy to tell the story. It was a great story so I did not mind hearing it over and over again.
This “little white lie” helped this woman have some joy at the end of her life. She is now in Heaven experiencing eternal joy.
I know what I have written is not anything new or innovative, but I do think it is a good reminder that it does not take great acts to have fun. Bringing a bit of Franciscan joy and the joy of God’s love to both others and myself goes a long way to balance my life.