Baxter Wynn – our Minister of Pastoral Care – introduced me to her a little over a year ago. For no particular reason, over the ensuing months, I either put her out of my mind or she slipped out of my mind. This past Wednesday, I stepped onto the elevator at Patewood Memorial Hospital, and there she was. I recognized her voice immediately. And all she said was, “Going up.” Baxter had warned me prior to our meeting that she had the most sultry voice in the world. It will near melt you. The elevator doors opened, and without hesitation she said, “Second floor.” I’m glad no one was around when I very sheepishly said, “Thank you.” My voice cracked a little. I may have been slightly blushing. It would have been embarrassing to have been seen and heard.

The rest of the afternoon was not so light-hearted. I was there to see patients and their families. I held the hands of and shared prayers with persons just moments from surgery. I conversed with family members who were navigating the messy nuances of worry and faith and wonder and hope and grief and gratitude. These are people for whom this Christmas season has been a challenge. It’s been harder for them to find jingle bells and joy in the way life has jostled them around during this year. I’m hoping some of them – and you – will be able to attend our worship service on Sunday morning, December 27. It is our annual Blue Christmas worship service. A part of that service will be the lighting of candles to symbolize pains we’ve experienced during the past year. It’s an honest acknowledgment of our struggle and a visible symbol of our hope.

After my visits, I made my way back to the elevator at Patewood Memorial Hospital. The doors opened and there she was again. “Going down,” she said. It wasn’t fate. It wasn’t a second chance meeting with any future romantic significance. She is simply the ‘elevator voice.’ The voice that speaks when the doors open or when you push the buttons. She’s not real, but she’s the sexiest dang elevator voice I’ve ever heard. I’ve almost let myself have a crush on her…but I always remember…she’s Baxter’s girl… ☺

— Jim