“Life is long.”

This is a phrase that I’d already heard my CPE supervisor repeat to me many times before we even started our training today. It kinda catches you in your tracks, especially coming from a guy who encounters so much birth and death each day inside the hospital, and a guy who himself has lived all his life with cerebral palsy.

Our day began with a psalm reading from our Chaplain. ‘The psalms come out of a place of brokenness and cracks that just fit in the hospital,’ he said, and then softly, ‘They just do.’ The second reading was from the gospel of John, from Jesus’s words to the disciples just before he is to be crucified on the cross, ‘I am going to prepare a place for you,‘ he promises. And Chaplain stuck it to us that this is not some idle promise, some weak, ‘Oh, I pray that God will get us through this rough spot,’ but this was real hope in the face of death–Jesus’s own death was coming and he was preparing a place for us.

As he murmured that this kind of hope was kind of radical, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what Shane Claibourne has been writing about scandalous grace, love, and hope.

It’s no surprising, now that I think about it that Shane’s book was so hopeful; it seems Jesus’s message of hope is contagious and I think that’s something that Chaplain Faller wants us to discover for ourselves this summer.  Oh, but even though I sound hopeful, I think you should know something–I’m still really scared and really nervous.

Can you be hopeful and all those things at the same time? I’m really hoping so…

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