Spiritual Accompaniment & Ebola

For us, prayer is about accompaniment. It’s about journeying with people in critical and dark times.
— Rev. Robin Brown-Haithco, Director of Spiritual Health at Emory University Hospital

What emotions do you experience when you or a loved one is suffering? How do you process those emotions? With the spread of the Ebola, we have witnessed fear overwhelm patients, providers, family members, and the public. While the role of chaplains has not been highlighted amidst these stories and conversations, Shirley reminds us “silence isn’t absence. In the five American hospitals that have treated Ebola patients, chaplains have been a key part of the healthcare team, quietly alleviating anxiety amid national paranoia, tackling loneliness amid clinical isolation, and protecting patient privacy amid intense public scrutiny.” This article shares the subtle yet transformative nature of connection and accompaniment.

We’ve become more fluid in moving back and forth between values and professions, between technical practices and moral practices…And I think it’s not surprising then that rather than separate the sacred and the secular, we’re more comfortable seeing them connected.
— Dr. Arthur Kleinman