Spiritual Life

My Neighbor is the One Who Crosses the Road for Me

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Who is my neighbor?

When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan, he answers the question “Who is my neighbor?” by saying it was the Samaritan who crossed the road, “bandaged the man’s wounds, poured oil and wine on them,…lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him.”

My neighbor is the one who crosses the road for me!

AdventHealth Hospice Care Chaplain David Labrador crosses the road every day by providing spiritual care to our patients and families.

We checked in with Chaplain Labrador to learn about the impact Hospice donors are making behind the scenes.

a photo of David Labrador

How is coronavirus affecting the patients and families you counsel?

COVID-19 has brought a lot of anxiety and sadness to the hearts of our grieving families. Family members who were not able to be present with their loved ones and say goodbye have struggled with lack of emotional closure. Due to the restrictions on the number of people in our inpatient units, families have grieved separately from each other.

What are the two most important things you’ve learned as a hospice chaplain?

I have learned so much as a hospice chaplain and I continue to learn every day. One thing is that we are never ready to say goodbye to someone we love. We all need the love of our family and friends. I believe that we were made for love, and when that relationship is severed by death, it becomes very difficult to deal with our grief. Another thing is that grief needs a witness for us to properly grieve. Perhaps that is why Jesus said in the beatitudes: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4). Jesus knew we needed to express our grief (mourn) and that we should do it in the company of others, so we may be comforted by them.

What do you love most about being part of the Hospice Care team?

Our staff has done a great job empathizing with the feelings and emotions of our patients and families. They have provided not only physical care, but emotional and spiritual support.

It is such an honor to be part of a person’s life in the most vulnerable moment of their existence. To be there for them, their families and their friends is not only a sacred calling, but a great privilege. I believe I have been placed in their lives for this short amount of time to extend the healing ministry of Christ in the darkest moments of their journey.

What do you want supporters to know about how they are helping?

Gifts from our supporters make a huge impact in the lives of our patients and families. Our patients find comfort and peace in the warmth of our rooms and the amazing care of our loving staff. When you give to Hospice Care, you are not doing it expecting a reward, or applause. But patients and families will never forget that someone thought of them, or their family members, and created a very special place and organization to help them through the most difficult time of their lives. Be blessed and keep on being a blessing.

From the whole team, thank you for crossing the road for your neighbor!

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