My Church

My church is a hospital
      a place of life and death.
The deacons and priests are servants of health—
      moving patient to patient
      serving up hope, grace, grief.
While others tend bodies, I tend souls.

My church is a clinic
       diagnosing,
            dispensing,
                 doling out bandages and advice.
No one stays for long, coming and going as needed.
     I am both patient and practitioner.

My church is a hospice
     nursing facility, private home–
     way stations on the path to new life.
Like midwives, my colleagues wipe brows,
      gives meds, hold hands, see tears.
We usher to the door, then stay in this world to care for the living.

My church is the place
      of spiritual expression, 
          of holy need,
             and sacred grace.
My parish is life, I am it’s servant.
       My name is Chaplain.

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