Saturday, September 05, 2009

Earning my keep

For being a unit that hasn't had a Chaplain in quite some years, the Soldiers in my Battalion certainly seem to know what a Chaplain is for, because I've been busy since I arrived at Summer Camp - West last month.

If it's not a Soldier or his/her buddy coming to me to ask for some time, it's someone in a Soldier's Chain of Command who hits me up about talking with that Soldier. I'm loving it.

Especially when I find myself in the presence of someone who's carrying an incredible emotional burden of one sort or another, I'm very grateful to my friends over the years who have gone to lots and lots of Al-Anon meetings.

For almost three decades now they've been reminding me that "messiah" is not part of *my* job description, and that's a crucial piece of information to retain in the forefront of my consciousness when I'm faced with the life situations some of my Soldiers find themselves in.

Were it not for that truth -- "messiah" is NOT my job description -- it would be easy to get overwhelmed (or at least grandiose) as a result of others' pain. My friends who go to a lot of Al-Anon meetings talk about "detaching with love," something that sounds simple in the abstract, but can be quite tricky in the execution. Absolutely necessary, though.

"As much as you love them, Tim," my friends have told me for so long, "you can have a God who loves them even more. So get out of God's way, and let that happen!"

Their experience, strength, and hope have sustained me through a lot thus far, and continue to nourish my spirit in this latest adventure.

Good thing, too, because you'd be amazed at the situations my Soldiers find themselves in -- even before we've gone overseas.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

View My Profile


Lorraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorraine said...

No doubt you more than earn your keep wherever you travel. You've left a remarkable impact on my life. Six months back from Iraq and my life is steeped in spirituality. I'm even a co-conspirator at my parish's Womens Society. Here's link to our website:

My son, too, has been touched and that is a grace for which I am thankful beyond words.

Good luck on this next leg of your journey. I look forward to reading about your adventures in the Army and in Christ.

MAJ Lorraine Januzelli

Powered By Ringsurf