Certain chaplains get it- they get me- we get each other. I am particularly fond of certain groups of chaplains- as a general rule hospital/ hospice, and Military and some forms of Emergency Service, are the ones that work in very interfaith, multi-cultural settings that have lots of death and / or trauma. It’s very different from Corrections for example who have a “captive audience” and though incarceration is a form of suffering, and many inmates have been through traumas, it’s not quite the same as looking death in the eye, day in and day out as you support people of other faiths through their most difficult times.
There are Rodeo chaplains, motor-cycle chaplains and all kinds of community service and industrial chaplains all working as “ministers in the workplace” but my greatest connections come through crisis chaplains- and for that background matters.
I’m an Henri Nouwen fan and loved the discovery years ago that my calling was one of a “Wounded Healer.” Though I’m trained to the teeth in trauma psychology, grief, loss, CISM, yadayada… and it is all relevant important, my education and training only gave a name and face to my own experiences. I repeatedly learn it is not what I know or what I do that makes me effective in serving, but who I am.
I am Beloved, accepted, forgiven, child of God, joint heir, sister, friend of God, unconditionally loved, redeemed, chosen, adopted, unashamed, included, blameless, holy, blessed, filled with His grace, sealed, alive, Gods handiwork, filled with peace, brought near, never alone, never forsaken, built up, a servant to the gospel of Good News… And more…
That is what / who I bring with me to the Philippines- a wounded healer with , the “least of all,” complete with Christ in me. And That is the greatest Healing of all.
Ephesians chapters 1 to 3. Drink them in and believe.