Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: Direction from Hollywood?
By Kathleen Langridge
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Sharon broke into Caitlin’s thoughts, “Come on Caitlin, its over and I’m hungry, let’s go for that pizza!”
Sharing a pizza, Caitlin was tempted to talk to her friend and prayer partner about the film’s continuing impact but she felt a check in her spirit, a caution that corralled her usual enthusiasm. Instead she asked, “What did you think about the film, Sharon?”
“It makes me wonder if we will ever recover from the emotional and physical wounds that war inflicted? Do you think that a Veteran’s hospital could be that bad; the rats and medical staff on drugs; the patients having to care for themselves and each other?”
“Yes, those conditions were beyond deplorable. It must be true and part of that man’s experience other wise there could be lawsuits for libel. I felt a strong reaction to the hospital scenes. It really made me think.”
“So now I suppose you are going to become a chaplain in a Veteran’s hospital?”
“Ya, tomorrow. No, but I want to think and pray for direction, my placement ends in the nursing home this week. Next week is graduation and ordination. I have decisions to make and interviews to arrange.”
“How many offers have you received? Anything really grab you?”
“I’ve had a few. I was interested in one in Portland and one in Seattle but it was the location more than the type of hospital. The only thing that is clear is I no longer want to work in a children’s hospital. That was why I went into the chaplaincy program but I don’t have the strength, heart or gifting to minister to suffering children and their parents.
Speaking of working I need to get home, change and get to the nursing home. I have patient and family visits this evening. Then the joy of meeting with the director for my end review.”
“Do you think it will be a negative review? I thought you were enjoying your time there and everything was going swimmingly?”
“No I don’t think it will be negative but it means an ending, and points toward those new beginnings, I don’t know where. I’m struggling with the not knowing, ya’ know,” Caitlin laughed, nervously.
Sharon reached out and hugged Caitlin saying her good byes and promising to keep praying.
Later as Caitlin met with the Daisy, the nursing home director, she was surprised to be offered a permanent job with the company who owned that facility. The money was good plus the perks for traveling around the state to the five homes owned and managed by the company. She thanked Daisy but said she had several other offers that she needed to consider and though she enjoyed her time, it didn’t fit her needs. Arriving home she checked her messages. There were two from the hospitals in the Northwest and the last one took her breath away.
“Hello Ms Cumming, this is Reverend Hale from the Denver Veterans Hospital Chaplaincy. Please phone me at home before 11 pm, if possible. I would like to schedule a chat in the next few days. My number is . . ..”
Caitlin dropped into her favorite chair and reached for her Bible as she bowed her head. “Lord, is this you opening doors? I need to hear what you are saying. It seems too much like a God-incidence.” She grew quiet and calmed her heart using the verse in Philippians 4, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” At such moments her thoughts usually turned to Jesus and his story from the gospels. “Lord, I surrender. I will take the next step and see what you do.”
The phone ringing broke into her prayer. It was Rev. Hale and they set a time for their chat, after he confirmed she had not yet accepted a chaplaincy position. They met several times over the next ten days, each time ending their meetings with prayer.
The 4th of July found Caitlin preparing for her first official day as Chaplin at the Denver Veteran’s Hospital, God-incidence or another outlandish move by a woman?
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