I believe in the presence of God’s holy angels in our lives and how we can experience unexpected messages of God’s grace in those Holy moments. As a Mercy Hospice volunteer, I was consciously aware of my immediate surroundings most of the time and prayed often for God’s help in my ministry to the people I served. I became a hospice volunteer as the result of my own family experience when it was needed for my mother. Not only does the hospice team provide care for the patient but also to the whole family. Their care was a blessing!
As a new hospice volunteer, myself, I was given my first patient assignment at a Skilled Nursing Facility to participate in a first visit with the Hospice Chaplain. The Mercy Hospice Chaplain would introduce me to the patient. The visitation was scheduled on a particular day and time by the Hospice Coordinator. Usually, we as volunteers were trained to check in and out at the Nurse’s Station and stay with our patient until they became tired of visiting.
This day I was nervous because it was my first volunteer opportunity and I was seemingly filled with doubts about my ability to bring God’s love to this new person in my life. I listened and watched for God through many hours of prayer that day.
As I said my last quick prayer before entering the patient’s room, I was told the Chaplain was not coming. I asked permission to enter and introduced myself to the patient and her friend. My patient appeared frail and tired. I sensed a calm peace enter my body as I spoke with my patient and her friend getting to know a little about her life. She and her friend had been visiting for quite some time already that day. So, I explained that perhaps next time I met with her it would be a longer visit. The patient spoke softly, and I struggled to hear her as I asked if there was anything I could do for her.
I had been holding her hand and she asked for me to pray with her. During prayer she drew me close to her face which was helpful for me to hear her words. I prayed for her and those who love her. As I finished praying while she whispered to me come closer and then she kissed me on the cheek. I told her I would see her in a couple of days.
It is an awesome privilege to minister as a hospice volunteer and often I wonder who receives more care, the patient or the caregiver. After leaving, I felt and heard something profound inside me that said, “You have just been kissed by an angel” This was a Friday late afternoon and Monday morning I got a call from the Hospice Coordinator who let me know that my patient died a half hour after our time together. I am humbled by the holy message that angels come in our deepest need of prayer.