Miracle Moments Miracle Moments In Work Life

EPTEMBER 11, 2001, was my seventh day at work in a new position I had accepted at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Memorial. I recall that Chaplain Lynne Blackler called me out of a meeting I was holding with my resident chaplains and told me the news of the tragic events that day. What first came to mind was my husband, Rev. Robert Lim, and my home. Both were in New York.

Immediately, I tried calling home and Robert’s office where he worked as a chaplain at Mary Emaculate Hospital in New York City. All phones lines were busy or cut off. It was not until late that afternoon that I heard from Robert. He was safe, and he told me he’d be living out of his office at the hospital in the weeks ahead to offer pastoral care to victims of the disaster and their families. In the midst of my feelings of helplessness, I felt an extraordinary outpouring of strength and compassion reaching out to me from my fellow Associates at CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial.

On one occasion, they formed a circle around me to express their concern and to offer words of encouragement. The hospital’s administrator was sensitive and shared his concern for my family each time we crossed paths. Several other Associates I first met in the days after that terrible event continue to ask how my family is doing. The spirit of care that was the result of this national tragedy has forged a powerful sense of community and connection here that cries out for acknowledgment. To me, this is a miracle moment!

Along with thousands of volunteers, Robert channeled his grief by becoming a Red Cross chaplain, in addition to his responsibilities at Mary Emaculate Hospital. All rescue workers and caregivers embodied the true spirit of humanity that gave hope in the midst of flames, smoke and the collapse of the twin towers. The courage of these people empowered many to move past numbing fear and to begin taking life-giving actions.

I was in New York on the sixth-month anniversary of the attacks and visited with some of my neighbors. I recall fondly that two of my neighbors, a police officer and his wife, sent me a care package three weeks after the event. I remember thinking that I ought to be the one sending the care package to them. Instead, they reached out to me. Their kindness helped me work through my grief.

The Spiritual Care Department at CHRISTUS Spohn Memorial came together late this summer to plan how to most appropriately remember this tragic event. By joining together, I believe new miracles will come, not from the fear of war and terrorism, but from an opportunity to connect with one another as a community: faith to faith, heart to heart, story to story and member to member.

We need to recapture the powerful spirit of unity and love for our country, other countries and for one another. We do, after all, need one another very much during good times and bad times. Human vulnerability then becomes a gift. Hope, justice and love must be renewed and prevail, and that is my prayer.

Rev. Yoke-Lye Lim
Spiritual Care
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Memorial
Corpus Christi, Texas