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Hospital receives blessing

“Let the children come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

— Holy Bible

By Joanie Morris

Kannapolis Citizen

CONCORD — Waylon Ford may not have realized it on Monday, but he made history. Ford, 9 months old, helped the Rev. Tony Biles bless the doors of each unit in the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital.

Waylon was just one of many looking on as Biles and fellow hospital chaplain Charlie Davis blessed the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital. The blessing culminates the series of activities surrounding the new children’s hospital in Cabarrus County.

“We come, then to this place of our work to remind ourselves that God is present here, too,” said Biles during the blessing. “It is God’s face that we see in the faces of our children, their families and our staff …

“Today is coming from the heart,” said Biles. Biles said what struck him most about the hospital was the way it was built for children and their families. “We recognize from the pastoral care perspective the family is a unit. …

“You can see in the unit they planned for more than the patients,” he said. “They planned for the families.”

Charlie Davis spoke on the thoughts and feelings provoked by his first visit to the children’s hospital.

“What I felt primarily was overwhelming,” said Davis. As he walked down the floor from the elevator, it really “jumped out.” The floor is covered with tiles decorated by young children. Those tiles each represent something in that child’s life, Davis said.

“If you look at the various tiles, you will find out for these children, caring means giving,” Davis said. “You see beauty. You see creation. Probably what they put down there on the tile is what they see as a need for their life and this world.”

Davis added during the prayer that the tiles each represent diversity and the unique needs of each child and family.

“They remind us of God’s presence and heart for children,” Davis said during the prayer.

“The dream was dreamed out of a need,” said Biles of the hospital. As he prepared to bless the doors of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the pediatric wing of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital, Biles chose Waylon Ford to help him. “I think it’s only fitting that a child do this.”

After the prayer, Biles took a pottery urn filled with blessed water to the door, with Dawn Almond following behind, holding her son Waylon. At each door, Biles instructed Waylon to dip his hand in the water.

With a little help from his mom, Waylon did as Biles asked and then spread the water on the doors, along with Biles.

“Got is present here, too,” Biles said. “He is not confined to the church.”

Contact Joanie Morris at 704-932-3336 or jmorris@kannapoliscitizen.com.

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