A year ago, I "Faded to Black" in a Pastoral Report essay. Attending a few meetings this year of a Denver CPSP Chapter has since rekindled those ashes.
The chapter's first meeting, to which I had been invited on account of the essay, seemed usual: check-in, business, candidate bio. The second included an e-talk with CPSP leadership on procedures, and a frank discussion. The last meeting of 2018, a breakfast, turned out to be the fire-stick, a spirit of early training days, a ministering.
A hospice chaplain who had been on call arrived almost at the end of the meal. Her body language said, "rushed, disquieted." She spoke of a funeral that just attended in what I understood to be disturbing family dynamics not unlike those chaplains witness and my own family recently experienced after the death of a loved one. I heard from the Chapter only words of comfort and support, not only for this chaplain but indirectly for myself.
Until that moment I had been asking others and myself, "What am I even doing here at these meetings?" The others replied that I had been invited, a great line from " Close Encounters of the Third Kind. " My tentative answer now is that I am warmed, during this season of wonder, by their kindness.
Dom is a retired Clinical Chaplain who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.