Looking for Jesus in 6161

Hillary had been in room 6161 for three weeks. She couldn’t remember the first two weeks, between the pain meds and the breathing mask.

“BiPAP,” she said. “If you are going to tell my story, you have to sound like you know what you are talking about.”

“And I can remember it,” she said. “I just don’t want to talk about it.”

Clearly, she was feeling a little better.

“You mean ornerier.”

(Yes, I do.)


As I mentioned the other day, I’m trying to figure out where Jesus is by looking at where Jesus was. I’m thinking about the gospels as I’m walking around the hospital, a little at a time.

Hillary was sick enough to be in the progressive unit, a step below intensive care. As a family friend and a chaplain, I checked on her regularly. As I said, for the first couple weeks, she wasn’t conversational. Now, she was a little better.

“A lot better,” she said. “I can form real sentences and everything. I even know who the president is.”

“Which one?” I asked.

She threw her menu at me.

“So what was it like to have people carrying you to Jesus?” I asked. “Metaphorically, I mean.”

I’d been reading about families taking sick family members to Capernaum when they heard Jesus was there. They’d heard he was healing people and they wanted to be healed.

“Truth?” she said. “I felt like they took me to town the day after Jesus left.”

It is an interesting episode. Jesus heals a man in the synagogue (demon), heals Peter’s mother-in-law, heals everyone in the community that evening, and then left town before everyone got up the next morning. Out in the hills away from town, talking with God.

The disciples found him and told him he was popular.

“‘Let’s go to the other towns so I can preach there, for this is why I came.'” Hillary recited the words. “But what about the people brought to Capernaum during the night? Babies at the edge of death, men unable to work with mishealed hands, me. Jesus went somewhere else to preach, leaving us unhealed.”

But it is just the beginning of the book.

2 thoughts on “Looking for Jesus in 6161

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