Monday, September 28, 2020


Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

Feb 17
Rev Robert A. Crutchfield

They're Not In Our Path Accidentally !

Posted by: Rev Robert A. Crutchfield

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Recently I experienced two events in back to back days that reminded me how active God is in empowering our ministries. The other day I was in the E.R. at our local hospital. Not being on department business I didn't have my chaplain's uniform on. However as is my practice when in the hospital I did have my Texas Medical Center clergy I.D. badge on. I went to get my wife a soda from the nearby machine. There I met a man and his miserably ill little son about 2 years old. The poor child was feeling so badly that he only wanted two things. 1) for daddy to hold him. 2) a bottle of sprite. The medical staff didn't have objection to the soda. Unfortunately the soda machine was busted. It wouldn't even take the father's money despite several attempts. To make matters worse you could tell english was not the father's native language, so seeking help would have been uncomfortable for him.

I approached and told them that I was looking to get a soda myself. The father explained their plight. I told him that if all that poor child needed to feel better was a bottle of Sprite then he was going to get it one way or another. I knew there was another machine over by the chapel, and cafeteria. The cafeteria I knew was closed until dinner. I showed them where the machine was and we got the sick little boy his Sprite ! I'm nit sure who had the bigger smile the father or the little boy. That simple bottle of soda had become a big stressful, frustrating task to the father of a sick little boy. But God in his heaven had a plan and a man ! He aligned our paths to meet at that soda machine, and the little that had unnecessarily become big went completely away !

The next day I was at my secular job. Nearby I noticed a young man who was wearing a department t-shirt that was from a department that was a good distance away. I went over and asked if he was finding everything he needed. In the course of the conversation I learned that his wife was in our local hospital. The same hospital I had been standing in the day before. I first expressed concern for his wife, and offered my prayers for a complete recovery. Then I mentioned that the chaplain at the hospital was a friend of mine. I called him over to the counter and took out one of my chaplain business cards. I flipped it over and gave him the name and 24 hour direct phone number of the hospital chaplain. You should have seen the relief on his face when I put that card into his waiting hands. Will he ever need it or use it ? Probably not. But his wife was in a hospital in a strange town. But through my simple act God made it clear that he knew what he was going through because he was watching, and had his people in place.

Like all ministers scripture is at the core of what we do as chaplains. But we also have a vital role often described as a "ministry of practical helps." Little things can make a big difference to people going through a rough time. At those times it is when we turn our faith into action that our ministry that has a profound power that we can likely not even measure. People like those I have describes are not in our path by accident. God put them there deliberately expecting us to do his work in the live of others. Are we paying attention ?

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