Pursuing Peace

Over my lifetime I have desired a lot of things – always feeling positive that the next thing would satisfy, and I would thirst no more. But that is not how life works, is it? The acquisition of anything only seems to whet our appetite for more. We always want more. I am sure there are a few things on your wish list that would … Continue reading Pursuing Peace

When Grief Steals Christmas

As a hospice chaplain grief is a common experience in my work. Here we are in the middle of the holiday season, the most joyful season of the year, and yet many people are struggling with grief. Grief is a natural response to loss, a deep sorrow that can manifest in us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Though there are some common expressions of grief, each … Continue reading When Grief Steals Christmas

No Place Like Home

Remember the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz? Dorothy is running away from home when she gets caught up in a tornado that literally picks her up, house and all, and sends her on a fanciful journey – far away from home. Ironically, throughout her journey, all she wants is to get back home. As I think about Dorothy clicking her heels and repeating “There’s … Continue reading No Place Like Home

My Hospice Story

I have heard it said that there are only two things that are unavoidable in this life: death and taxes. I question this because I am pretty sure there are people who do escape taxes in this life. Instead, I propose the two absolutes of life are suffering and death. Life is hard living in this fallen and broken world, and we will all suffer … Continue reading My Hospice Story

From Pastor to Chaplain

The very first day of my chaplain residency back in August 2020, one of my brand-new colleagues made the statement, “Every chaplain can be a pastor, but not every pastor can be a chaplain.” Huh? I have spent the past year contemplating that statement, as I made my personal trek from pastor to chaplain. The main difference of course is that a pastor works within … Continue reading From Pastor to Chaplain

Poetry in Motion

Now in my final unit of CPE on this journey through residency, we are studying Poetry. Yeah, I know, I said the same thing – what does poetry have to do with chaplaincy? But honestly, just a few weeks in and it is my favorite unit of study. I am finding the connection between poetry, life, and of course chaplaincy, profound. Let me explain. Life … Continue reading Poetry in Motion

In the Middle of the Night

In the hospital, chaplain services are available 24/7. This means chaplains rotate working the overnight shift. At 5pm when the rest of the chaplains leave for the day, we wish our lone overnight on-call colleague a “blessed night.” This is generally thought to be code for a “quiet” night, meaning they will not get a call. The night shift, after the visitors and other staff … Continue reading In the Middle of the Night

Therapy and Chaplaincy

One of my favorite things about God is that we (humans) are created in the image of God, three in one – body (physical), mind (thoughts, will, emotions), spirit (the life breath of the body, the essence of who we are, and how we interact with God). There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of taking care of our physical body to stay … Continue reading Therapy and Chaplaincy

To Tell the Truth

Every day, during our morning “huddle” (pastoral services department daily briefing) we are reminded of the “behavior of the month.” These behaviors are reflective of the core values of the hospital. Back in February, the behavior of the month was, “We tell the truth with courage and with empathy.” One of my peers asked me what I thought that meant. As I explained to her … Continue reading To Tell the Truth