Through WordPress I came across this blog from an American Baptist Pastor, Rev. Mindi. I found myself thinking how I felt the same way in the beginning years of ministry. – Steve

On Monday afternoons, I go to the local hospital to be a volunteer chaplain for the afternoon.

I hate going.

Every Monday, there is a bit of dread that hits my stomach as I step into my professional clothes, clip on my official badge and drive to park in my official spot. With my hands still on the steering wheel, I pray the prayer a mentor taught me when I was doing Clinical Pastoral Education at a hospital in Boston: “Lord, help me not to run.”

I enter the hospital through the main doors and greet the volunteers at the front desk. I bypass the public elevators and head for the staff elevators. Turning the corner from the second floor desk, I enter the chapel. Usually it is quiet and empty. Occasionally there are staff members on their phones that I have to politely remind that it is a chapel, not their lounge. I log on to the system, check the main census, and attempt to memorize the names of the ICU patients. I check the census by religion which is never complete. While some staff members are great at intake in asking spiritual preference, when they are in a hurry it’s often the first question that is skipped. Usually I only know the spiritual preference of about half of the ICU folks.

I log off. I sit in a pew and stare at the stained-glass window. I take a deep breath. I pray again. “Lord, use me, however you need me.” Sometimes I have been known to pray “Lord, please don’t let me be needed today.”

Then I walk out that door, around the corner and down the hall to ICU.

And somehow, miraculously, every time I pass through those doors, the switch is turned on.

I’m the Chaplain. I’m here for you. Whether you be a patient, a visitor, a nurse or therapist or business representative or doctor or housekeeping or internal services, I am here for you to be your chaplain.

At that point, I forget that I ever wanted to run or wanted to not be needed. I’m actually disappointed if everyone is asleep or being bathed or whatever. I’m ready.

Continue reading

Explore posts in the same categories: PASTORAL LIFE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: