The Lord is my strength....
Greetings from the wild world of CPE.
As many of my classmates can atest to, getting adjusted to the long hours of CPE can wear heavily on one's spirit not to mention the exposure that we have first hand, seeing the ugly and dark side of humanity and society. Already I have heard tales from the frontlines and the other afternoon my husband ran into one of my classmates, "His eyes were haunted," he thoughtfully observed.
In the same fashion, serving at a retirement home can be just as exhausting not because elders are sometimes hard to understand or engage but it is about building relationships and caring for those who have done so much in their lives, who are in limbo because their souls are so independent and free, but their bodies are uncooperative.
Part of my duites as a chaplain intern is to plan worship for two floors that deal with long term care and rehabilitation. For me that's when improv worship kicks into gear because you can not have a regular worship liturgy nor denominational appropriate hymns. What's more important, what I have learned is that bringing a joyful noise and praise to their lives especially when many of them have an exclusive membership in the century club.
What was so beautiful was as we played a familiar hymn, Amazing Grace (sung by Elvis Presley) most of our little congregation's energy seem to pour forth and fill the room as those voices that perhaps had been forgotten were now raised and how their presence taught me that Our Creator is everywhere, in everything and whose love is reflected in everyone.
Wonderful Creator, although we do not understand it for the spiritual path you have given us, the mission of your Mercy and Grace, your commandment we thank you and we thank you for your Eternal Love. Continue to walk with those who are on the front lines everyday, struggling within even as they give care to those who are hurting and in pain, continue to protect and guide my classmates in CPE and continue to teach us through Him who gave himself so that we not only might live, but give in return. Amen.