Two months in, it seems I have found a new rhythm. Whereas in the first few days
at KC CARE Health Center, it felt like I was stepping onto a treadmill that is already set at a sprinting pace, now I feel as though I am in sync with the rest of the team. I am extremely grateful for the patience of my coworkers, as they trained me on how to use the electronic records system, taught me the lingo, and showed me how to care for our patients. Throughout all this, they have kindly reminded me that making mistakes is part of the process.
I was recently reminded of the purpose of this process by some readings at Mass. In the gospel of Luke, the disciples ask the Lord to increase their faith. A simple enough request, I thought, and one that I have pleaded before in the moments when I felt guilty for faltering so easily. I think it is an instinct to think that more of something will always fix the issue at hand. How often I have wished to be more steadfast, more consistent in prayer, and how rarely I have truly appreciated the gift of faith. Because through faith, no matter how small, God can still reveal the truth and work through me.
And what if you don’t have more? At the clinic, this question is asked every day, figuratively speaking. After all, people come there in their hour of need, often quite aware of the socioeconomic systems that have made them vulnerable. This is where I must meet them.
However brief my encounter with the patient may be, I am right there beside them to face that with them. It’s a moment of rawness and realness that never leaves me unaffected. And while it does take a toll, I hope I never get used to it or take it for granted. My experience volunteering at the clinic has so far motivated me to think of healthcare as a ministry.
On October 4th, St. Francis of Assisi’s feast day, I was reminded of the Peace Prayer (an old favorite of mine) that is often attributed to him, and I have taken a lot of strength from it. To be an instrument of peace in the face of so much hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, sadness—a goal for the rest of my service year and be- yond. And I have still so much to learn! About providing healthcare as a profession and as a business, about how to put my faith into action, about how to be a bold Christian witness. I ask for your continued prayers for us volunteers as we continue our year of service.
Caitlin is a current Precious Blood Volunteer serving at KC CARE Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
To learn more about becoming a Precious Blood Volunteer go to www.preciousbloodvolunteers.org