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The "Staff" Chaplain

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Joined: 18 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:15 am    Post subject: The "Staff" Chaplain Reply with quote

The reading for day 13 gave new meaning to my job title “staff chaplain.” The staff as a symbol of leadership and a symbol of care fits perfectly with the pastoral function of guiding. My leadership is evident as I guide a patient toward finding the best solutions for his situation. My care is made evident by my willingness to be present with a patient where they are in the moment.

Just being a patient in a hospital is enough to make most people feel they are in a ‘hung up situation.” Confined to a small room, made to wear a dress that is open in the back exposing your behind, told what to eat and when to eat, told how many can visit and for how long, and made helpless by illness and iv’s-is the normal state of most patients.
My role, as a staff chaplain is to provide “with sincere interest and gentle persistence” the care that is represented by the staff. I don’t usually provide physical care, but spiritual care that often results in a more rapid physical healing.

My staff may be prayer, scripture reading, music, making a phone call. My staff may be arranging a family conference or giving the doctor some important information about the patient. Sometimes my staff is finding a more suitable minister than myself for a patient’s needs (Imam, Jehovah’s Witness minister, Catholic priest, etc.). Whatever my staff might entail for a situation, my desire is to guide and care toward a successful care plan.

Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity you have given me to serve people by being a source of care and guidance. I can only do that well because your rod and staff comfort me. You are so faithful. Please strengthen me by the power of Your Spirit that I may be faithful, too. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
L. A. Harper
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