Oh My Aching Back

By Mark Hopper

As a church pastor I often visited people from our church who were in the hospital. It was an honor to pray with them and encourage them. I did not stay very long. It was usually a short visit to learn about their condition, treatment and how their recovery was going.

Sometimes it was hard to find people in the hospital. Older facilities are not easy to navigate. I wrote a story in my first book about how I got lost in a hospital looking for a patient’s room and how a helpful employee escorted me to my destination.

On other occasions my visit might be interrupted by a doctor who was checking on patients in the hospital. Sometimes the patient from our church would ask me to stay and listen to what the doctor had to say about the patient’s recovery and progress.

Sometimes a therapist would show up to work with the patient while I was in the room. There are physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists in every hospital. They also have respiratory therapists who help both infants, children and adults with breathing problems. I usually finished my visit with a short prayer and then departed to make way for the therapist.

One day I visited a patient who was recovering from back surgery. It had been pretty extensive and the recovery would take time. As I listened to the physical therapist address different aspects of the recovery I was surprised to hear them mention a book was available for a small fee. I don’t remember the title of the booklet but it provided important information about sex after back surgery.

I think the patient was surprised too. However he had left his wallet at home and did not have any money with him. I knew he was interested in learning more so I offered to pay for the book myself. I think he was a little embarrassed but very grateful his pastor was present to purchase the helpful booklet.

There is an interesting account in the Bible when Jesus visited Peter’s home near the Sea of Galilee. Peter’s mother-in-law was very sick with a fever but Jesus healed her and she was able to resume her activities (Mark 1:29-31). Let me encourage you to visit a friend or family member in the hospital. I recommend you not stay too long but I do recommend you bring your wallet in case the patient needs to purchase an informative book!