The Listening Pilgrim

No one comes to any of life’s journeys in a vacuum; we come carrying all the burdens that life has laid upon us. We do not come to any pilgrimage devoid of the ways in which our journey has shaped who we are, who we have become, and who we might, by God’s grace, growContinue reading “The Listening Pilgrim”

Transitions in Late Spring

The southeast met me with air heavy with humidity, magnolias in bloom, and the ubiquitous smell of wild honey suckle. It met with all the memories of who I once was in light of who I am becoming. Refusing to let this new life be all that mattered without first being grateful for all thatContinue reading “Transitions in Late Spring”

And I Prayed: A Woman’s First Time

I continue to have firsts in the church; today, I taught my first class. While it doesn’t quite compare to serving Eucharist, it was certainly reminiscent of experiencing that first. Last November, after I prayed and served my first Eucharist, I wrote this reflection of the experience. Today was reminiscent of that experience, because, yetContinue reading “And I Prayed: A Woman’s First Time”

Reflection: Telling stories

In Day Twenty Six, the patient spent about 30 minutes telling me stories. Not stories of how she found herself in the hospital, not stories of what she was going to do when she got out of the hospital, but stories about her husband who had passed years before I walked into her hospital room. It wasContinue reading “Reflection: Telling stories”

Reflection: Not everyone needs a chaplain

My first few days I struggled with feeling as if I wasn’t being chaplainy enough. I would spend time with the patients, and quickly, I would learn if their children were wonderful, or if they provided a source of anxiety, I learned where they lived, what they did, and generally, whether I wanted to know it or not, theirContinue reading “Reflection: Not everyone needs a chaplain”

Reflection: God as the Stranger

It was my first real death, a few weeks into my time at the hospital, I was far from the wide-eyed new chaplain, but I’m hardly seasoned either. It was particularly hard. An all day process, everyone involved knew that today would be the end. Checking in on the family throughout the day, I sawContinue reading “Reflection: God as the Stranger”