Chaplain’s Log – StarDate 131204

“Do you like your job?”

I was on my way out of the unit Sunday night, heading back into the rest of my life- home, family, getting ready to spend the week at my day job.  I had grabbed my backpack, put my car keys in my pocket and was walking down the hall, and on a whim I stopped in to say good night to a patient.

We’d spent some time that afternoon talking about how nice it would be for her to go home, be someplace familiar, see her dog.  I’d stood for probably half an hour, rubbing her shoulder the way I used to rub my child’s when sleep was held hostage by fears and anxiety.  We had laughed about coffee through a straw.  I was going to miss her if she transferred home before my next shift, and I wanted to tell her.

So I stopped in.  We chatted a bit, and then from left field…

“Do you like your job?”

I do.  I like that I get to meet people I might never have run into anywhere else.  I get to hear their stories and learn about their families.  I get to hear what makes them hopeful and thankful, what makes them angry and scared.  And I get to see God in all of it.  I am learning to see people as the beautiful, beloved children God that sees.

I heard myself saying it.  I felt myself believing it.  And in that moment, my “job” as an unpaid, intern hospice chaplain fell away.  I was willing just a follower of Jesus to be used by the Holy Spirit on that afternoon to comfort and and love another human being.   That’s my job.

And yeah, I like it.

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