in my love – be lifted high

I know I’ve been pretty quiet on here.  But to be honest, I’ve been entirely too busy and to be more honest – there’s not a lot going on in my life that I feel like I can write about.  Let me expand…
A few weeks ago I started a summer CPE program that is required for my degree.  This program involves my working in a hospital as a chaplain (intern) and basically my days involve wandering the hospital (trying not to get lost) visiting patients and offering prayer or just to listen to them.  While it has been an extremely difficult journey thus far, it’s also been really good for me and really honoring for me.  But within CPE, there is a lot of confidentiality issues and to be honest, I just can’t really write on here what has been going on with me and the things in which I’ve been processing.
However, I’ve had some thoughts today that need out and only some of them have to do with CPE so I’m going to write them out anyway.
There is something deeply profound about walking into a hospital room and introducing yourself to a complete stranger and then sitting down to hear their life story.  It’s really honoring to be able to be in this space with this person or family.  I mean to be honest, I am walking into their room at what is quite possibly one of the worst days of their lives.  They are in crisis, something major has happened to them, and here I come with my little three ring binder and an assigned list of patients offering a chance to chat or pray.  In all honesty, I’m surprised that I’m not refused more.
But for whatever, in this place of extreme vulnerability – they open up.  They tell me things they haven’t told their family or their own pastor.  I get to experience this place of extreme suffering with them.
There are so many moments in my days at the hospital that I think to myself, “What qualifies me to be in this place?”  And I’m not sure that I have the answer.  But then again, what qualified Moses to deliver the Israelites?  What qualified any person in scripture to do the things they did?  Now – I’m not saying I’m a biblical character … but still.  What qualifies any of us to do the things we do in the name of the Lord?
Nothing qualifies us.  I mean yes, at the end of this school year I will have an MDiv, and that probably technically qualifies me.  But most of the time I am still at awe at the fact that this dream of mine – to do ministry – is actually coming true.  I have a hard time believing that I am really trying to represent God in any way, shape or form.
And I’m not sure I will ever truly come to terms with that.  But at the same time, I think it’s that dependence on God that makes it okay.  I know I will never do a perfect job.  I know that I will mess up from time to time.  But as long as I keep in mind that it is holy ground I’m standing on at any moment when I’m trying to be like Jesus, I think that maybe, just maybe – I’ll do alright.
If I strive for my whole life, my whole world and all my love to lift the name of the Lord higher, then I think I will do alright.  For without Him – there is nothing left for me.

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