Being a Chaplain, and Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, April 14, 2014

PRAY God can hear you

Being a Chaplain, and Being Kind

You never know when stuff will happen, or opportunities present themselves. In the midst of major cleaning and getting things ready for the carpet guys to come to our place tomorrow, I was really busy with sorting, packing, and schlepping stuff downstairs to the basement.

While I was involved in all this commotion, I talked with two recent acquaintances today, too. One told me of several hospitalizations that happened to the other, within the last few months. About the surgeries on the extremity, and pus coming out repeatedly. Pretty scary stuff!

It all involved a cut on a lower extremity, the cut getting infected, and what happened after that. Yucky, scary, creepy chain of events. The infection just wouldn’t go away, even after repeated hospitalizations and heavy-duty antibiotics. The three of us talked a little about these super-bacteria, resistant to even the most powerful drugs and—specifically—antibiotics. The infectious disease doctors are starting to warn the public about these super-bugs, even.

I haven’t been in a hospital or care center for a number of weeks now. (Even though my Twitter handle and my name I go by on wordpress.com are both @chaplaineliza.) However, these two acquaintances didn’t seem to notice. Or care.

They spoke to me at length and opened up about several things. But one thing stuck in my mind—the hospitalization. So much so, I felt the urge to pray for this dear one, and I acted on it. I followed God’s leading.

As I have done many times in the past, I asked my acquaintance if I could pray, and if it would weird either of them out. They both laughed, and said of course I could. My second follow-up question was “Would you like me to pray with you right now, or would you like me to do it in the afternoon tomorrow?” Right now was fine.

We stood there and prayed. Holding hands. I was conscious that this practice was unusual for my acquaintance, so I hurried my prayer along. (I don’t think God minded. In fact, I suspect God totally understood.) As I closed my prayer “in the healing, powerful name of Jesus,” I felt a gentle peace, a right-ness. Somehow, this dear acquaintance and I were in the right place, at the proper time. Or something like that. I am not sure quite what God had in mind when I prayed, but I have the strong sensation that God was pleased. Not pleased about the repeated operations and the other creepy things that happened, but about the two of us getting together and praying. Coming before our God and calling out our hurts, our victories, our fears.

Thank God that I am not calling out into some dull lifeless blog. No, You have promised to be with me, all the way. And your have promised to be with my acquaintance, too. Great job, God!

@chaplaineliza

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Little by Little

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, April 13, 2014

BK be kind whenever possible

Little by Little

Day Seven of the bathroom facelift: in the home stretch! My contractor is coming back tomorrow to put the vanity in place and touch up the fresh paint he put on today. That’s just about all there is left. The brand new tile is beautiful! White, with a gray-ish glass mosaic trimming around the top. I keep pinching myself, because of the old tile—gosh darn it, more than that! The whole bathroom was scuffed up, old and tired.

However, Phase Two is going to take place on Tuesday. New carpet! (and such a deal, too!) My husband is a book lover. I am a book lover. When we put a lot of our books in one room and turn off the lights, I could swear there is some funny business going on. It seems as if they are mating, since they seem to duplicate. Double, sometimes even triple in number. I mention the books because it was a condition of the carpet guys putting in the carpet. Yes, my husband and I are almost done boxing up all the books and bringing them downstairs.

This was a process. A long, drawn-out process. But little by little, we are getting it done. It’s amazing how , incrementally, things can add up. It’s amazing how the piles of boxes gradually grow in the basement, too. As I’ve been watching the contractor work for these past few days, I have noticed the same thing with him and his work, too. A few set-backs, a couple of difficulties and problems, but nothing that made the contractor throw up his hands in frustration. (I could just imagine!) But thankfully, work is almost done.

As for me, I tried to be helpful and patient every place I went today—church, home, stores. I took the cue from these excellent examples. So, I tried my darnedest to be kind. Be helpful. Be of service. Final confirmation with the carpet salesman. He and I had a great conversation confirming the correct carpet swatch and the photo.

I tried to help out the contractor, too. Verifying the paint color, getting various things—as long as I was going to be stopping by the do-it-yourself hardware store. And truthfully, all the people I encountered were really, really kind.

God, I hope You show me the best way to let people know that I am interested in them, that I care about them and their families. At church, in the garden, and especially when I am out and about. God willing, I’ll keep trying to make a way where there is no way. I hope and pray that You lead me to people who could use, even need my touch.