Who am I if not a chaplain? Where will I work? How does it happen that a life changes so quickly? How can I not know the answer to that question after spending countless hours in the ER with families devastated by losses costly than mine? I must learn to be my own chaplain.
I’ve learned and am still learning that when something I value is lost, I often gain in other ways. If I am open to it, there is much to learn in loss. I find a resist it, if the loss is so painful that I cannot bear to face it. I find I miss out on framing the loss and incorporating it into my life. Sometimes I can do this, sometimes I cannot face it and must wait, like a player who has been sidelined, until at least some of the injury heals so that I can face what is lost and welcome the journey of finding what awaits. Being a creature of habit, I’m not so fond of new and changing things. Being a student of life, I realize that things change every day. I hope I’m getting better at incorporating changes, but sometimes, just like my walking habit, it is two steps forward and one step back…
I watch my dogs and find that my understanding of walking needs their understanding, too. It is time for me to walk in a new way. Perhaps I will write or go back to school and enhance my chaplaincy skills with a counseling degree. Maybe a new avenue in which to use my chaplaincy will appear. Perhaps I’ll learn to make time for those things that are mine and not stay too busy with the lives of others, putting them too much in place
of my own. I will never stop walking with a purpose. But my choice now lies in
the knowledge that I must learn to walk with purpose and yet make time to find the purposes hidden from me. There is much to explore under the leaves and in the dirt. My job right now is to learn this new path and to befriend it. I’m grateful to have my animal guides to remind me of the way. As one of my nameless acquaintances drives by, I notice my little dog in his dance of scratching and sniffing. He moves with grace as both acts
merge into his little routine. I pray that one day I may do the same.