I find God uses other people to encourage me when I least expect it. I’ve finished mid-terms and a paper and I feel like I’m sitting on a porcupine cushion waiting for the results. Will these grades give any indication of my ability to express God’s love for people during their time of need? I don’t know but I’d like to see the results!
In the meantime, God blessed me with four unexpected events. Two friends sought out my support through prayer and conversation; one for a medical condition and the other regarding her next professional move. After several long conversations with each, where I mostly listened, asked a few questions and offered prayer at the end, I felt amazingly connected not only to my friends but also to God.
I had the great fortune to attend a meeting of deacons from the Diocese of Chicago, and listened to a discussion about how to be with people (and their families) as their lives draw to an end. The wisdom in the room was breath taking as I learned about how to touch someone in a way that gives them control over the moment, listen without the need to add my “two cents,” and ask questions instead of making statements about how they might be feeling. It was a gift of years of mature wisdom and authenticity shared in a room of trusting, like souls.
And last week I had dinner with an old friend who encouraged me by offering introductions to people throughout the city who are involved in health care and may be willing to introduce me to others participating in the ministry of chaplaincy. I didn’t know my friend had those kinds of connections!
So I continue to wait for the posting of grades – it’s been three weeks. In the meantime, my spirit is buoyed through the working of the Holy Spirit and in the persons of my friends, that I’m moving in the right direction and feeling blessed every step along the way.