When I heard your explanation of your new position, it made me leap inside my heart. I can see you being a chaplain over there, seeing your patients, pushing the borders of your pastoral identity. I could see you praying and preaching and leading.
Your eyes sparkled as you spoke. I noticed it even though I kept my listening face. I guarded the treasure of your brightened countenance. I thought of the other residents and students in our CPE program. I thought of my chaplain colleagues and the pastors I know who are open to call. I saw them and the fulfillment of their hopes in your sparkling eyes.
You weren’t entirely happy with everything–and who’d expect that given your description of the social climate of the place–but you possessed a vision of what could be. That’s what came through your speech, through your eyes.
The vision of your next days, the long moments with others where you’d have an impact, where you’d do some more good in the world. Good for you. Good for them. Good for us.
So I wrote something that I probably couldn’t have written anywhere else. This place where I live now, that I love dearly, is just full of interruptions. But I have succeeded; what I have been doing here in this last few years as my hobby is editing this material. And I find that this material helps me enormously. My own high moments help me. I would say that one of the things that has come to me in the immediate last few days is that this Cosmic Flow, which is God, call it what you will, is the life back of every cell in the body. It’s a nice metaphor, the river is the flow, because it has come to me more deeply that I am just sort of porous. That this is refreshing, healing love of God is flowing through me, and that’s a very marvelous thing to believe, if you are seventy-eight and you’ve got arthritis, and you’re burdened with the racial concept of old age that everybody gets sick and peters out and gets carried away. But it doesn’t matter where you are physically, if you’re sick or if you’re well. That this Reality, of this actual life, all spelled with capital letters, LIFE flows through you at every moment of your waking-sleeping experience. Consequently you can be creative to your last breath.
From Miss T in an interview as reported in Fowler’s Stages of Faith, pg. 197
Thanks to Szolkin