One of the items on my “Old Favourites” re-read list was this lovely little memoir about a woman theology student doing her clinical pastoral training on a hospital ward for children with life-threatening neurological injuries. Nina Herrmann’s stories about working with dying kids are perceptive, painful and often beautiful, and her honesty and self-deprecating humour about her own limitations make this book a really refreshing read.
Although this is another book that I read at a far-too-formative age, it didn’t influence my career choice — I was quite clear before I read the book and even clearer afterwards that I wanted to stay a million miles away from hospitals. What’s interesting about reading it now is that I feel that I have found the place in my own career where I was “meant to be” just as Nina was “meant to be” in that hospital, and I understand how much you can learn about yourself as well as about your vocation in that place. This book is not as easy to find as it once was, but it’s still a very rewarding read.