Sunday, July 05, 2015

Chaplaincy series: when chaplaincy is so heavy...

I have a job that brings me up close and personal with the absolute worst that this world has to offer. I see people on the worst days of their lives.  I am with people in their last moments. I deliver news that no one should ever have to hear. I see horrific injuries. I bear witness to death, usually on a daily basis. I ask grieving family members to donate their loved one's organs and tissues and corneas. I have seen the death of children and of parents and grandparents.

But all of that is distinct from the heaviness of the loss of one of our own.  A hospital staff is a tight-knit family.  A trauma center functions as a well-oiled machine and we all depend upon each other in some macabre symphony to play our part and somehow we end up saving more lives than we lose. On friday, one of our Flight for Life helicopters crashed during takeoff. Two of our flight nurses were critically injured and one of our pilots lost his life. I know all of these people and this hurt will be with our hospital family for a long time.

Sometimes chaplaincy is so heavy. And I can only carry what I see and hear and experience like smooth stones in my hands. Laying down these burdens as I can in safe places.

Please pray for the chaplains that you know and love.  This work is a sacred calling but it can be so very heavy at times.

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