Yesterday I said “I talk about how often I have these impossible situations to remind all of us that there are impossible situations happening around us all the time and we move past them with distraction more than reflection. Which means that we miss the actions we could take that might matter to ourselves and those we love.”
One of you wrote back. “This, of course, could apply to so many situations that we find ourselves in, but I would like to know about some specific opportunities, that you are thinking of here, within the context of your Chaplain ministry experience. Can you elaborate here with some observed examples of opportunities taken, or opportunities lost.”
It’s a useful reflective question.
Early in my chaplain career, our two kids got texts from me right after particularly tough moments involving young people. “Love you” is all I said. What I meant was, “If anything happens to you or me on the way home, I want you to know that you are loved because death happens to people in their twenties.” That said, I haven’t been doing it as often, perhaps because the situations have gotten less jarring. But I think I need to still send those texts.
I think that if I see post about a friend in difficulty while looking at Facebook, and if I scroll past, I will forget the difficulty in the distraction. At my best moments, I write their name on paper to follow up.
I think that if I know the answer to the question that I think someone is asking in their moment of pain, I am likely to answer a question they are not asking and they are likely to not have the energy to try again.
I think that when I slow my heart down to the speed that someone can speak, we are more likely to hear each other. And I’ll know when to ask God for courage for them.