I’ve been doing hospital visitation on a regular basis for over 20 years. One thing that I’ve learned is that I’m not very good at it. Even though I’m a pretty compassionate person, I struggle when trying to minister to those in the hospital. Something in me clams up and I struggle with my words.
However, Jesus did say I was sick and you visited me, so it’s important to press on with the visit, even when I feel uncomfortable.
I spent most of the last three days with my mother who was hospitalized. During that time, I pondered my own hospital visitation situation and realized that there are 4 things to remember when doing hospital visitation.
#1 – Pray. The Holy Spirit is a much better Comforter than any of us, so pray and let Him do His work. Thank Him for who He is in front of the people who need to remember it the most. If for some reason you can’t pray with the hospitalized or their family, pray by yourself for them and for you as you visit them.
#2 – Bring a small gift. After visiting my mother for the first day, my wife suggested that we bring her the shampoo and conditioner samples from our hotel room. We weren’t using them anyway and it allowed my mother to wash her hair with real shampoo. Whether it’s shampoo, facial tissue, a magazine, or a drawn picture from a child, it could make a huge difference in their hospital stay.
#3 – Know when to leave. Unless you’re family or considered part of the family (sometimes even then), don’t overstay your welcome. Understand that while you’re trying to bring someone encouragement, you may be wearing them out. People are in the hospital for a reason and you might be stealing their sleep time.
#4 -Use discernment when using anointing oil – Some people don’t understand the symbolism. To some, it just seems like you’re putting grease on their heads. Your prayers are more important than the oil.
Remembering these 4 things will help me. Maybe they’ll help you as well.
By the way, my mother’s doing great.