A Hospital Chapel: 30 Minutes
I sat for about ten minutes, praying about a doctor's appointment going on upstairs, seeking God for divine newness and restoration and illumination. I later knelt for the rest of the time. (There were no kneelers.)
It was somewhat quiet, but the sounds of the hospital intruded a bit. It was not the hub of the hospital, but the on the margins, it seemed, humanly speaking. One could read a long list of doctor's offices near the entrance of the hospital, but there was nothing on the chapel that I could see. But someone at the information desk knew where it was.
Later this struck me: A hospital is a place of illness seeking healing, a place of fear seeking consolation, a place where death can become more real, a place fear and darkness in many ways. Yes, one can pray anywhere--and one should (1 Thesalanions 5:17). Yet how often and how biblically do people pray--together or separately--in this small place? I do not know; but given its diminutive size and pristine appearance, I wonder if it is neglected, if prayer itself is neglected, if the Great Physician is ignored in favor of the MDs...
Many years ago, I occasionally prayed in the large chapel of a hospital near the University of Oregon-Eugene campus (Sacred Heart). After the expansion and renovation of campus, the chapel was scrapped and replaced by a small room. Archetecture speaks.