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
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
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
CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Memorial
Corpus Christi, Texas