Chaplain's Corner - June 2018
As humans, we all experience situations and incidents that impact our lives and most of the time, we learn from them which make us stronger in character and spirit.
The unique conscious events that some people undergo can be inspiring and heart piercing.
Recently Chaplain (CPT) David L. Davis related a story to me of great faith.
He called his experience “THE HANDS OF GOD.”.
A few years ago, before I joined the Army, I served as a Chaplain in a level-two Trauma Center. During this time, I questioned my call to the Chaplaincy.
How and why would God use a broken vessel such as myself for His greater good? Doubt settled in my heart as I compared myself to other servants that I knew.
I was not a great Biblical scholar, or a master of comforting words. No, I am a simple man with a desire to serve. Part of me knew that God had called me to the Chaplaincy for a reason. So, I went to God in prayer and asked for Him to aid my troubled heart.
One day I received a call by the Oncology staff to visit a patient and his mother. With Oncology you never wait, you go when called. The reason is simple, you never know what you will deal with or how long the patient has in this life.
When I arrived at the Oncology floor, I was welcomed by the nurses who had me put on a protective gown, mask and gloves. While getting dressed, the head nurse briefed me about the situation. The mother requested a blessing for her mentally handicap son who was suffering from Pneumonia, Swine flu, two other unidentified viruses and Muscular Dystrophy. She informed me that the situation looked bleak and the patient's chance of survival was very little.
I was brought to the hospital room and saw that what I thought I knew was wrong. It was not a 20-year old mother, but a mother in her late 70's and her 57-year old son. The man had the mental capacity of a 2-year old. He was physically crumpled with little left of his physical frame; he looked to weigh around 50-60 pounds. His breathing was labored and periodically he cried out in pain.
With his one good hand, he would reach out for anyone willing to hold it. Like his eyes, his hand had a powerful grip. He was in a fight for his life. His mother, exhausted sat in a chair by the window. She looked weary and had a mound of growing tissues around her chair.
She looked up at me and asked “Chaplain, will you heal him?” Everything looked so dark and hopeless. I did not know what to do or what to say. Who am I to fulfill such a request? A man, an imperfect man with no power. What this family needed I could not do. Yet deep inside, my spirit cried “His will be done.”
I called another Chaplain to help. With one hand tightly clinched in the patient's iron grip and my other upon the patient's head, I cried out to God. The words were not my own; I just wanted to serve Him. After the blessing the man released my hand and drifted off to sleep. I left feeling drained.
The next day, I returned to visit the family. When I arrived, the room was empty, and a nurse was cleaning. “What happened?” I asked. Quietly she said, “He went home.” I panicked. We often used this phrase to mean that someone had died and returned to their Father in Heaven and their eternal home to rest.
She must have seen the look on my face. “Oh no Chaplain, not like that. This morning he was doing great, no sign of his breathing sickness. The doctor was shocked and signed the papers for release.”
God knows us. As to my strength, I know that I am nothing. Yet with the strength of God we can do all
things, if it be His will. God does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called.
Chaplain Davis said that the patient had left not healed of his handicap or the Muscular Dystrophy but
was free of the restrains of the viruses that impeded his breathing.
We can never under estimate the power of Almighty God. Who knows that according to the man's faith his other ailments might have been healed as well.
Mrs. Connie Sullivan