Rev. Kimberly Russell (MDiv, BCC)
“Sometimes we must yield control to others and accept our vulnerability so we can be healed.”
Kathy Magliato, Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon
I stand by a crib in the ICU, watching a tiny baby sleep. This baby has never been home, never known life outside of a hospital. Born premature, she needed time to develop and gain strength. When it was time be discharged, she didn’t go home, she was transferred to another hospital. This baby girl, only a few weeks old, has a diagnosis of leukemia.
We often recall Jesus as a Savior, a miracle worker or a parable teller but Jesus started off just like each one of us. Jesus was an infant. He was born in a strange place and depended on others to care for him. It is in that state of vulnerability that we connect with the Messiah. Jesus experienced leaving the protective warmth of Mary’s womb and a medical procedure of circumcision, a rite in his culture. From birth, dangers surrounded him that he could not face alone, and Jesus placed inherent trust in those that care for him to be the stronghold where he was vulnerable.
- - -
Thank you for reminding me we all experience vulnerable moments. Be a strength in my time of weakness and guide me to the people willing to be a stronghold for me in times of vulnerability.
Kimberly works as a pediatric chaplain at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She provides primary coverage for leukemia/lymphoma patients as well as adolescents and young adults living with HIV. Kimberly earned a Master of Divinity at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas and is ordained and endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She received specialized training at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Georgia. Kimberly is a board certified chaplain with active memberships with the Association of Professional Chaplains and Pediatric Chaplain Network.