Throwing some words at the screen

I feel like I’ve been gone on a long trip, far from home. Instead, I’ve been inordinately busy for the past nine days, driving straight east, from my side of town to a neighboring city, for four of those days to attend chaplaincy training. I headed south two of the days, to a whole different part of town, across the freeway, to smile with and coax small children  to eat their vegetables, behave themselves, and learn a lesson or two.

The chaplaincy class was geared towards being a police chaplain, which after four days of training I know I  don’t want to do. I cannot stand the idea of seeing murder and mayhem such as we learned about over the 32 hours of the course. It was a harrowing, draining experience that caused nightmares. Probably some depression in there, too.

There were 15 of us, all in it together, pulling for one another, and we all walked away changed. Our reward–knowing we had learned something new and stepped into a world that few will see and experience. We also got a certificate. Those who can deal with the gruesome details of police work will be better chaplains for it. I, on the other hand, will not be going out on calls to suicides, murders, missing children, domestic violence, or even making death notices. That one alone gave me nightmares. How do you tell someone that a loved one is dead. Quickly, we learned, very quickly, so as not to prolong bewilderment as to why a chaplain is at their door.

I’m glad I am a school chaplain, and even that is hard enough. Children see and hear more than they should. It changes them, and they bring those changes into the school. That’s where I will meet the gruesome details of life. I will work with a calming voice, lots of care, stories and stickers. I guess I’m doing something right as the police chaplaincy office came out last week and videotaped my classroom presentation to use in training. Hopefully, what I am doing can be of use to others.

For now, though, I am tired. I am feeling overwhelmed. I am behind in so much–chores, errands, preparations for this next week’s classes, reading, and especially, writing. So, while the laundry has been spinning in the washer and dryer, I have been sitting here, collecting my thoughts, throwing them on the page, so to speak.



13 responses to “Throwing some words at the screen

  1. You’re braver than me Gunga Din.

  2. –The Bravest, the Boldest– is one of the Manhattan Short Films of 2014 and You are correct… delivering terrible news is a very difficult job

  3. Missed you! I was so happy to see a post from you! The work you do with children is amazing. It’s totally meant for you. Glad you walked away with a different experience. It teaches us about ourselves.

  4. It is so tough. But what you do is very important. Even though I’m not religious, I see the need for what you do.

  5. I am so glad that you are who you are, and that you do what you do. And thank you for sharing it with me, too. I am proud to know you. And welcome back. 🙂

  6. My nephew took the test to join the police academy, but he failed the test twice. I am glad he did because of the nature of the job.

  7. It sounds awful, not for everyone.

  8. Very nice stuff.
    And, just to smile about, baseball teams have chaplains as do football teams.

  9. It’s a tough job and I take my hat off to anyone who can be a policeman or those who help them. Working with children is so important and you help so much in that regard. Everyone can make a difference when they try.

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