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Thursday
Aug162012

It's not all rocket science

I remember when I started a job as a caregiver for individuals with developmental disabilities. In the house I was working at the time, this being my professional type job doing something like this and there was an individual who would express their displeasure or anger by throwing items at the nearest person, usually a staff member. I was in a staff meeting trying to think how I could use my skills that I have learned, how I could solve this issue.  I asked so what do I do when this person throws something at me, looking for the deep, profound answer and the wiley old veteran looks at me and says to me "Duck." It is a simple answer, it is not rocket science.

I believe that at times when we think about being chaplains we make it more complicated than it needs to be. We add on that we have to be all things to all people, we need to understand their culture and be able to speak their language to care for them and it is simpler than that. We have to be present to the people we are serving. That is what it comes down to, when the person throws something we don't have to come up with this deep spiritual answer, we may just need to duck.

When we duck we are not avoiding the issue, or trying to ignore what is going on, we are staying out of the way so the issue can be resolved or at least started to be worked through. If you try to answer all the questions or comments that are coming at you from a person in a crisis it is very easy to get lost in the details and navigate your way through that and lose the person that you came to support. Being present to them is the most important thing. 

Peace,

John

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