My mother had worked in this same Catholic hospital for 28 years and she believed passionately in their mission of healing and serving the poor and underserved with compassion, excellence, justice, and respect for human dignity. At her end, they were going to ignore their calling. Fortunately, I was able to question their policy and the decision to close the unit was reversed.
I wrote the president because I needed him to be aware of the gap between mission and actual ministry. There was power for me in my writing the story of her death, whether or not any change in policy comes from the telling. I realize I have no power, but to witness.
I think that’s true about our stories in other avenues of our lives as well. If we don’t tell the stories of our loves, losses, work, faith, hopes—all of our experience, the spiritual power of our lives is diminished. Spiritual power comes from the telling of the story—God’s and our own.
As a priest, I appreciate it when others share the truth of their lives with me. I also value people sharing their stories of mission and experience. My hope is that our community can be a place where we learn to tell our stories and that by doing so we unleash the power of God in us to heal the world and each other.