Sunday, I had the great blessing of speaking at a Pro Life seminar at St Joseph’s, in Bronxville, NY, organized by Jacki Brusco and the Respect Life Group. I was pleasantly surprised at the great turnout for a sunny Sunday afternoon in competition with football! God has His plans.
I had been looking forward to hear the other speaker, Dr Michael Brescia, Executive Medical Director of Calvary Hospital, a world renowned hospital devoted to providing palliative care to adult advanced cancer patients.
Dr. Brescia has an amazing story of how he came to be at Calvary. Co-inventor of the Brescia-Cimino fistula which presented a milestone in the treatment of Kidney disease, the Lord had other plans for him as a temporary assist at Calvary which turned into his life work. God knows what He is doing!
As Dr. Brescia spoke, I heard the parallels of our two ministries. In many ways, both take place at Calvary. One dying physically the other a spiritual death.
Dr. Brescia shared about the spiritual, physical and emotional battles of terminal cancer and the importance of holding and loving those God sends to them in their end of life journey. His hands on compassion and obvious love and devotion to those he serves, was beautiful to hear, and I am sure even more beautiful to watch as he ministers on Calvary.
Dr Brescia spoke of emotional suffering being deepest pain. While they treat the physical pain, he feels the abandonment those who are dying often experience as being the worst. I could not help but reflect on how abandonment is often one of the deepest wounds from abortion as well. I could not help wondering what it would be like for those who struggling with that deep wound through life to find it is also experienced deeply on the road to dying .
Yes, ministering to the dying at Calvary seems not to be so different from ministering to those broken from abortion at the foot of the cross. Those at Calvary Hospital are dying physically, facing physical pain (although he says it can be managed in this day and age and no one has to suffer), and struggling spiritually and emotionally, those suffering from abortion have very often died spiritually, suffering emotionally and sometimes physically but are called to go on in this life.
In the end, it is the love on Calvary that heals them both. One leading to death and eternal life, the other a renewed life in Christ. Those at Calvary hospital treat the physical wound as well as the spiritual,in post abortion healing, the psychological impact must be addressed as well in order for those in healing to learn the dynamics and the very real way abortion influences their lives, but in the end it is the love that allows them to look at that,that fills the wounds, whether they be physical, spiritual or emotional with the unconditional love of Christ carrying them to healing and fullness of redemption.