Yes, Chaplains really did hit the beaches on D-Day. Of course they were there for religious reasons- they brought faith and sacrament into hell hoping to usher souls into the afterlife. Their blood stained alters were as sacred as any other, for any space where life enters and leaves this this world is holy.
But there is more to it than that; Chaplains are called to this side of the grave as much as the other. Our purpose here and now.
As for me, I am going to keep heading into work to comfort the hurting and share peace with the sick.
But I’m also going to keep going to work because that is where the team is going and I serve them as much as I serve our patients.
The nurses, providers, specialized therapists, and techs are all my parishioners. Even those who have different faiths and spiritual perspectives. There is no greater honor than to serve these servants, to bless these hands, and comfort these souls.
The days ahead will be long for frontline healthcare teams, first responders, public safety and other civil servants. They will be worn thin, driven tired, and run toward things everyone else is running from. My job is to remind them that they are human, care for their minds and souls, and watch the horizon so they can watch their work.
If you are one of these and we come across one another in our duties, remember that I’m not your Sunday School Teacher- I’m not there to proselytize or tell you to watch your f$ckin mouth. But, I will always look you in the eye and let you keep it real.