For those of you who do not know me personally other than from this blog, my life currently is filled mostly with chaplain work. When I first heard of the term chaplain, I was confused as to what it is that a chaplain actually does. The best way that I can describe it, is simply “being with other people“. Now I know that doesn’t sound all that glamorous or pastoral for those in today’s church settings, and you would be right! Chaplaincy is not glamour, it is not flashy, it is simply getting down in the dirt with people where they are at.
I do chaplaincy work at 3 different levels- I am a full time prison chaplain, part time Canadian Navy reserve chaplain, and a volunteer chaplain for our local fire department. Each of these is different in so many ways. I get to work with some of the most courageous and brave men and women that I have ever met- this goes across the board at all levels- the Correctional Officers, the NCM’s and Officers of the RCN, and the volunteers and Officers of the GNFD. These men and women serve their communities, their country with great courage and bravery that is second to none. The dirt that they face on a daily basis is the dirt I get to be with them in- that is what doing chaplain work is about.
Many people ask me what it is like to work in these different environments: each place I serve has there differences for sure, but one of the things that I discovered through each place of service is this- despite the difficulty of the situation faced, there is always a determined unity to make the most out of whatever the experience is currently being faced. These are the people I get to serve along beside.
I am blessed to be part of the chaplaincy, but to be truthful- I was never called to be a chaplain! I did not attend school to become a chaplain, it was not a calling I felt compelled to do. In fact I was very content and comfortable doing counselling in a marriage and family context. No, I was not, nor have I ever felt called to be a chaplain, I have been however, called to be obedient to the ways and teaching of Yeshua, Jesus, the only one God. And it is in this obedience that I must walk, whatever the road may have in store. That is where I find myself today, learning to continue to walk in obedience, and doing chaplaincy work, being with people in the dirtiness and joys of life experiences.
That to me is being a chaplain…
Thanks for stopping by,
~EsseRealis (Being Real)