14 years ago, I said words of commitment and affirmation. Commitment to listen to the Spirit’s leading, to preach the Good News (“sometimes with words”), and to honor God with my actions. Honestly and imperfectly, I’ve tried.
I’ve celebrated love and diversity at PRIDE. I’ve lamented at gun violence rallies. (Yes. Sadly. More than one.) I’ve protested at the Supreme Court. I’ve marched in solidarity. I’ve supported causes like Alzheimer’s Disease, Suicide Prevention, and cancer. I’ve been blessed to lead worship, preach, pray and sing in churches.
But I’ve also sat in the “invisible” spaces of chaplaincy. Holding hands. Finding tissues. Listening and holding stories. Laughing at life’s impossibly funny moments. Walking up and down the halls with a patient with dementia. Singing everything from Frank Sinatra to plainsong. Looking at photos of beloved family members. Supporting staff members after a patient death. Learning about how to use silence as a medium for grace and peace.
And then… COVID hit… and the last 2 1/2 years have almost eclipsed everything else in my years of ministry. I had to draw on new depths of faith and peace. I was called to face my fears as I put on PPE and brought what comfort I could. I held my phone so that family members could say “goodbye.” I learned new ways of engaging patients and families via telehealth calls. And I saw first-hand the healthcare disparities in treatment and survival rates for those with the least access to routine medical care and vaccines.
I came to vocational ministry with previous careers in music education and music therapy, raising our lovely daughters, and working the night shift in medical transcription. None of those experiences was wasted. Currently, I work as a bereavement counselor, watching the work of hope, healing, and resilience bear fruit in people’s lives every day.
I am an imperfect reflection of the Love of God. But all along the way, God has been faithful with whatever twists and turns I faced. There’s been laughter and tears, and an overwhelming sense of God’s Call on my life.
And I know God will continue to lead… thanks be to God!
*P.S. yes it IS 14 years. Higher math and all that. 🙄🤦🏼♀️