I probably should have shared this when I came, but I’m sharing it now. I fear that we’ve missed some opportunities to connect. I don’t know that you need or want a pastoral visit unless you let me know. There are two reasons for this.
First, because of HIPAA, I don’t have any way of knowing you are in the hospital unless you let me know or have someone else let me know.
Second, being raised in Kansas, I was taught that you don’t invite yourself over to other people’s homes. Instead, you wait for an invitation. As someone who often wants to be alone when I’m hurting this makes sense to me. If you need or want a visit, I’m more than happy to come but very reluctant to invite myself over.
Third, unless you tell me otherwise, I’ll generally assume that you want me to reply in the same manner that you contact me. So, for example, if you text me, I’ll take it you prefer that I text you back unless you tell me you want a phone call or an in-person visit.
I’m sharing this even though it’s about time for me to leave because every pastor I know faces this challenge. I’m sharing this in the hope that it might be helpful for your relationships with future pastors.