Carl Tuyl-Moments of Ministry.doc

Carl Tuyl-Moments of Ministry.doc - Moments of Ministry in...

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Moments of Ministry in Chaplaincy Moments of Ministry in Chaplaincy Carl D. Tuyl November 27, 2008 1
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Moments of Ministry in Chaplaincy Psalm 103 A sudden quiet filled the delivery room. Only the whirring hum of medical machines could be heard. But almost immediately another sound mixed with those subdued noises. Somebody started crying, and the woman on the bed could not suppress her sobbing. The nurse in charge nodded to one of her assistants. “Call the chaplain,” she said. It was a couple of hours past midnight when the phone rang in the chaplain’s bedroom. She dressed in a hurry and made her way to the hospital. The delivery room was already being readied for another birth. The nurse told the chaplain that there had been a stillbirth. “It wasn’t that we had not expected it,” she said, “but when it really happened, we were all grief stricken.” The nurse then referred the chaplain to a room where she found a man and a woman. After a time of silence, the chaplain introduced herself and asked if she could pray with the couple. Both nodded without speaking. After her prayer, the chaplain read a few verses from the Bible; the old words of Psalm 103 came to life. Some days later after the chaplain had arranged for and presided at the funeral of the stillborn child and at that occasion had read again Psalm 103, the father spoke to her. “Both my wife and I will never forget your visit in that hospital room,” he said, “and strangely that phrase—forget not all his benefits—is forever anchored in our minds.” Prayer Help us, Giver of all good things, to remember your blessings. Even in times of adversity and sorrow grant us an abiding vision of your help in our troubles. 2
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Moments of Ministry in Chaplaincy Psalm 46 Night! A cloudy sky hides the moon and stars. He stands in his foxhole. Water comes above his ankles. The machine gun rests on the sandbags in front of him. A slight breeze causes movement of leaves in the trees in front of him. “Is it the wind or is there something going on out there,” he asks himself anxiously. He peers into the darkness and places his hand close to the trigger. From far away, he hears the barking of a dog. His platoon was ordered to hold its position until the rest of the company joined them. Until that time, he knew, they were pretty vulnerable. He tries to assure himself that there is no one at the perimeter, but his anxiety does not subside. He wonders how much time is left on his watch. Suddenly, from out of the darkness, someone whispers his name, “John,” and the watchword, “Chicago.” “I am the chaplain,” the voice adds. Soon John is joined in the foxhole by the battalion’s chaplain who had accompanied them on their patrol. As the chaplain sinks his feet into the water at the bottom of the hole, he utters a word that he would never repeat from any pulpit. “I have come to keep you company for a while,” he says. “I know it is pretty scary all by yourself.” In that narrow water-filled foxhole, the
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