Posted by: word4men | August 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle

CompanioningThis is basically a journal entry type of post. Nothing quite so profound or thought provoking as I would normally hope to provide both for my soul and mind work and for any readers edification.

The week was really helpful. First, I was again reminded how much I like visiting with sick and stressed people. I know that sounds strange to the average person, but chaplains you will find are seldom average (is anyone?). There is a real feeling of specialness (sic) when someone shares their story with you or their heartfelt concerns.
I also feel as if I was given a good system to work out the paperwork. Remember folks, much of hospice work is under DHEC (state health department) regs and is paid for by Medicaid/Medicare funds through said state agencies. So, we do need to document for the taxpayers (of which I am one) if we actually did what we were contracted for and how their money was spent. Being a taxpayer, I fully agree with accountability, being me, I hate paperwork and am a slug on said work.
Of course, the biggest problem for me…or challenge is not the documentation, or organizing my work day and week, but…how do I apply The Gospel to my work? This was always my biggest question during CPE. I don’t think I was ever criticized for unloading on a patient in two years (meaning witnessing to Christ without an invitation). My supervisors (one a process theologian who at times held more Orthodox views in contempt, and one who was a bit new age-E) would have been sure to pass said criticism on. But, there does seem to be an assumption that if one is “conservative” or a “fundamentalist” that there is a danger that the chaplain will attempt to be judgemental or evangelistic in a very offensive way. As if pointing to self reliance isn’t guiding someone to a religious conclusion.

I guess that is where my Reformed convictions come in to play. It isn’t up to me to save or convert anyone. God must be at work. Given the opportunity, I will gladly share God’s story of Creation, Fall, Sin, and Redemption. But my first job is to meet the folks where they are. And pray for the appropriate situation as I provide for their lower level “spiritual needs.”
It is a great thing to be on mission for God in a unique and full-time way. I ask anyone reading this posting to please pray for those Divine Opportunities when a patient expresses their need for knowledge of Christ and for my discernment to see it and be the messenger. To be the pastor for my fellow hospice staffers, and to seek God in each situation.
In Christ Alone,



  1. I think Mother Theresa said,” to be God’s hands and feet.” Going to the needy and placing His loving arms around His people. Keep up the Good Work!

    • Yes Paul:
      So much of the ministry is being hands and feet. Walking with folks even when Gospel conversations are needed but are not…let us just say aren’t able to happen. The problem I have is that Mother Theresa was content to “help a Hindu be a better Hindu.” I am not, but there will be times when that is what I do and must do it in a way that does not dishonor Christ…that is the rub. Being salt and light while still engaging the darkness.
      In Christ Alone,

  2. You are an awesome Chaplain and God has gifted you for this special service… love you

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