Prayer for Chaplains

God, we give thanks for chaplains
who carry a house of prayer
around inside of them —
when the whole world
has been tipped upside down.

We give thanks
for all the ordinary times,
whether it is sorting out dietary needs,
rug or rosary or rabbi’s number,
of many different faithful
who face incarceration,

or waiting in the emergency room
until a family member comes,
touching base after surgery
or test results or chemo,

or being holiness with a face
in a house with hospice or a hospice house.

And we give thanks
in this season of pandemic,
for chaplains who must become
both spiritual friend and surrogate family
when safety closes out
spouse and partner, sibling and friend,
child and parent and pastor,
who must help families understand
waiting for a funeral,
or use gesture-language eloquently
when the right translator
can’t access a detention center,

who must ease the fear of medical staff
that they will bring home the virus,
figure out how to anoint without touching,
pray deeply meaningful words
on a screen,
remember everything,
exude calm,
step over the pigeon cages
and make everyone believe
that everywhere is a house of prayer.

(Today I lift up chaplains of hospitals, visiting nurse and hospice settings and correctional institutions in this difficult time. I honor as well so many amazing chaplains in educational institutions, military settings, police and fire services and residential facilities.)

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8 Responses to Prayer for Chaplains

  1. Randy Hammer says:

    Thank you! My wife is a hospital chaplain.

  2. beegood1 says:

    Amen thx for sharing

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Kathleen K Gloff says:

    Thank you Maren.
    I am a Hospice Chaplain; a UCC pastor; and crying now, because your beautiful words have given me a much needed release.

    • Maren says:

      Kathleen, I am so deeply grateful for the amazing work you do. Thank you and bless you in this strange times and all the blessed and hard times of your ministry.

  4. Thank you Maren. I’m catching up with reading your blogs and I’m very grateful for all your prayers and reflections especially this one. Thank you for being a prayerful voice for so many people.

  5. Maren says:

    You are so welcome — there are so many who are doing so much!

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