A Chaplain Reflects
Time and time again I am reminded that people going about their daily lives and work may be coping just below the surface with so many issues – some difficult, some very positive – but all drawing on their resources.
It is a privilege as a workplace chaplain to be there to add an extra resource, another mind to help think things through, to listen, or to share experience. It is also a challenge, not to forget what may be going on beneath the surface of some workplace banter.
I have just looked back at my September diary notes – representing probably little more than 10 hours on site – and noted the range of issues touched on as I wander around the workplace or sit in the canteen. Sickness comes up a lot – living with chronic health conditions either self or loved ones, commitment to family members living with disability – and finding ways of doing your job while part of your mind is tied up with these other things. The job itself creates a mixture of pride in delivering a service, with the demands it brings – long hours, demanding tasks or the new member of staff just feeling a bit lost and lacking in confidence. Family problems come to the surface quickly once you are talking – worries about children, pain from estrangements, and of course the pain of bereavement whether of a close relative or close friend. There are also the things we are all trying to work out – what we believe and what difference it makes to our lives, whether we are going to take that next step in a relationship and so on.
All in 10 hours or so – and so much more – including lots of talk about football - though whether that’s because I want to talk about football or because the staff do, I’m not too sure.