My assignment was as a volunteer, day-shift Chaplain.
“The people asked Jesus, ‘What are the things God wants us to do?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work God wants you to do is this: believe the One he sent.” John 6:28,29 CEV
This past July I spent 10 days at a place where I expected never to land my foot again. At one time I had been the Head Chaplain for a private security group at a camp meeting. Approximately 6000 people camp there during the weekdays and weekend attendance can be up to 20,000 persons. The next few posts will deal with my experiences as I returned to serve the security group once more. This time, my assignment was as a volunteer, day-shift Chaplain. When I had become too ill to fulfill my duties 4 years ago, another brother-in-Christ was chosen as Head Chaplain. So I at my return, I became Chappy 2! You may learn more about that in a later post!
Let me invite you on a journey that began in April when I officiated at the wedding of one of our security group’s dispatchers. There are some weddings that have extra special meaning to a Pastor/Chaplain, and this was a very special one. When Joni and I rolled up for the rehearsal I could not have guessed just how it was to impact my life. As with most wedding rehearsals, this was fun, funny, and full of the pre-wedding tension I have come to expect on these occasions. What was so great about this particular wedding was that it was about to become a security group family reunion!
No one was sure if the weather was going to co-operate. Right up to the time for the ceremony all eyes were on the blackening clouds hovering above the wedding venue. But as the wedding began, the clouds held back as if by some prearranged agreement with the Bride! It was a beautiful wedding even if I say so myself.
God has His own way of making things happen in the lives of those He loves! Let’s rewind just a little. While waiting for the wedding guests to arrive, a friend and I engaged in conversation. He and I had served together when I had worked as Head Chaplain for the security group. As I talked with B and his wife L, I asked how things were with the security group. B looked at me and said, “Chappy, you need to come back!”
Little did B or I know just how prophetic his words were. As the day continued others said virtually the same thing. Now this is what you all need to understand, the words, “… You need to come back,” were directed at me like an arrow in the bullseye. That may sound like a silly statement, but I knew God was talking to me. He wanted me to return to a place that would add to a healing process God had already begun.
“And so it goes…” We experience those circumstances In our lives from which we believe we will never recover. At least it was that way for me. Some wounds caused had been so deeply painful I believed I no longer had a purpose to serve. I believed I no longer had a purpose for being. Yet God had plans that were far beyond returning to me a purpose. His plans were to bring healing to wounds I knew would never—could never—be healed.
So much for my predictions concerning my future!
“And so it goes…” The life of each of us is a continuing story of a God who continues to prove His grace in our process. He continues to reveal His healing love and restoration power in us.
His grace to me is an amazing gift. Because I really love being a Chaplain!