I pray the day finds you well.
God is a funny duck. I am not trying to suggest that God is actually a duck. No, what I am suggesting is that God is always about a million steps ahead of what we are planning or doing and it always causes me to laugh when I finally catch up to something He has had in the works for quite a while.
We have been going through quite the remodel at the Clark County Family YMCA. We are almost done. During the remodel process we have had to put a few programs and services on hold as we began to be compressed into smaller spaces, as other spaces where being redone. Did I mention we are almost done with the remodel? Spaces have become more available which means programs and services are have become more available.
I had a meeting scheduled for quite a while with some people that really have a heart for the community that we call home. I wanted to talk about services and various offerings that we might provide. The people wanted to talk with me, but said it was a surprise and that I would understand once they revealed their heart. Did I mention that these people were from Rhapsody Church, the church at our YMCA?
I was sitting with some of my YMCA friends the other day. As I sat with Larry Whittlesey, Jeffrey Danes, and Bob Reichen, we talked of many things. One of the things we talked about was being a repository for services, classes…things people need. We talked of many things, but mostly we talked how the YMCA is uniquely positioned to be that “safe place” where people could come for help. We left the meeting, not deciding on anything but encouraged none-the-less.
Last night I had my meeting with Rhapsody Church; it lasted for about two hours. Long story short they wanted to see if together, the YMCA and Rhapsody could build a repository of services for people that the entire community could use. Classes ranging from parenting, nutrition, counseling services, grief services…A place where many partners could reside. A place where a person who needs help could find the services that they need, without searching many different places. It was quite a meeting and therefore the reason it lasted two hours.
Earlier that day Heidi Shenk (the Aquatics director) and I had gone to the hospital to visit a member who had suffered a stroke. We do that at our YMCA. I make hospital visits for those that say they would like a hospital visit. I took Heidi because she knew this person and I like to include staff whenever possible.
Later that day I called a member who had just lost a child. We talked for a long time. Actually, she did most of the talking. I do most of the listening as a chaplain. She is in a great deal of pain and was thankful that I took the time to call. She was also thankful that the YMCA had a chaplain to talk with. We will be having more conversations I am sure. She took my cell number so that she can call when the next wave of grief hits her and needs a friendly voice and a willing ear.
At the meeting that night I talked about providing a support group for those whose loved ones have had a major life change, like a stroke.
At the meeting I talked about the mother who had lost her child. I suggested a support group for people who are grieving.
God is a funny duck.
He had this whole thing in the works for a long time. He had many more people involved in this plan than I could have imagined.
As I dove home last night, I had a tear in my eye.
As I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on the traffic behind me, I could not help but see what He had been up to all this time. As my eyes turned forward again to watch the road in front of me, I could not help but wonder what He has planned next.
Today we are feeding about 600 kids. One of the sub-communities that is right next to our YMCA has a large proportion of kids that are on a school food program, they get their meals at their school. This week is spring break. Spring Break means there is no school. To these kids, spring break means there is no food. Today we are feeding them. We are partnering with Rhapsody Church to feed these youngsters.
A day in the life of the chaplain.
A day full of pain.
A day full of possibilities.
A day full of wonderment.