Thursday, February 14, 2013
A Chapel A Day- Day 2 (What the Doctor Ordered)
Many years ago, I had the very strong urge to spend a few minutes every day in a quiet time of spiritual reflection. I decided that my church sanctuary was the perfect spiritual getaway.
Except that it was locked during the day, due to financial, security, and other practical concerns. It was locked. And, I did not have a key. A woman in church administration offered an alternative.
"Have you considered a hospital?"
"Ummmm. No. I don't need CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.). I need SPR. (Spiritually Passionate Resuscitation.)"
"Seriously!" she went on. "Hospitals have chapels and they are open 24/7."
I ain't gonna lie.
I was not a happy Christian. I did not want to drive to some hospital and make my way through that a crowded parking lot and into a medical maze to find myself stuck in a 9x9 room with a neon "CHAPEL" sign on the door. I wanted my familiar sanctuary. Wahhhh!!
I got over it, and tried her suggestion. Turns out, it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Hospital chapels are some of the most peaceful, inspiring, spiritual places of reflection and worship that I've visited. There's one in just about every town. And, she was right. They are open 24/7.
I've spent time in chapels of Protestant hospitals, Catholic hospitals and secular hospitals. Some are elegant with pews, altars and candlelight.. Others are little more than a closet with a cross and a bench. All are filled with a Spirit that settles and strengthens.
Today, my chapel-a-day visit came at the end of a very long day. It was a good day... but a day that left me drained. This chapel is at West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, FL. It was on my way home. It is small, plain.. and exactly what I needed. You see, God doesn't require incense, candlelight and a pipe organ to show up. If we are there.. He is there.
Next time you need a little SPR.. or just a little TLC... consider the hospital chapel. It could be just what the Great Physician ordered.