I had visited Mr. “R” for a year because his health was declining and he was staying in a care facility. He was no longer able to make it to his Church. He was a happy seasoned Christian and always greeted me as a special connection to God. Every visit with him was a blessing for me as it was for him. The feeling that I received with his hand shake was far beyond the term “Chaplain.” It is a humbling feeling to be God’s representative chaplain- pastor. There is no way I could feel qualified for the position other than by the Amazing Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. To be a chaplain at the right place and the right time as God’s representative is not a job title, it is a special calling. That itself is a sacred moment with each visit.
My last visit with Mr. “R” was truly a sacred moment I will never forget. He was no longer in a wheelchair and too weak to get out of the bed. I told him I had picked out a portion of scripture that I thought would encourage him and he said “NO.” He said “I want the one about the Lord being my Shepherd. It was racing through my head over and over again.” I read the 23rd Psalm to him as requested then he shared the story of his life with me because he knew it would be my last visit with him.
He said “you know I was a blueberry farmer for many years. My business was successful and provided for my family because my business partner was God. I just did a little work and my partner brought the sunshine and rain. My partner actually made the blueberries we just had to pick them and sell them.” How simple was his life story. How profound was his life story. How sacred was the moment he shared it with his chaplain. The following week, I shared his story at his funeral, just as he had planned.
If you have been called by God to be a chaplain or to be a support to our chaplains in prayer please feel free to contact Chaplain Bob Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Michigan Chaplaincy ministry go to the BSCM website at bscm.org/chaplain.
2017 BSCM Chaplain Training Events: The first annual BSCM Chaplain Training will be during the Church Equipping Conference at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1707 E. Twelve Mile Road, Roseville, MI 48066 on September 16, 2017. There will be a great key note speaker and topics selected.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chaplain Bob Dennis is the new Chaplain Coordinator for the BSCM. He became a North American Mission Board endorsed chaplain for the State of Michigan after ministering as a pastor in the Woodland Baptist Association for many years. He currently is a chaplain assigned to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.