Joe was sitting on the edge of his bed. An IV tube was stuck in his arm, but otherwise he looked like a fairly chipper six-year-old.
I was a new student chaplain on the general medical-surgical floor at Children's Hospital. The children on this floor, in most cases, were not seriously or critically ill-which meant that they could be a bit more lively in talking with a chaplain, or a bit more up to ignoring her!
"Hi," I said, "my name is Nina Herrmann and I'm the new chaplain on this floor. What's your name?"
"Hi, Joe White. Do you know what a chaplain is?"
"No-do you give shots?" he asked, with the universal look of a child faced with a needle.
"No." I smiled. "They won't let me."
"That's good. Do you play games?"
"I can. But that's not the main thing a chaplain does. Do you go to church at home?"
"Yeah, most of the time."
"Do you know the person who stands up in the pulpit and preaches-the minister?"
"Yeah-are you one of those?"
"Yes. Only I work here at the hospital instead of at a ...1