“Do not take off your jacket,” I was told. “Do not stop at the office. Head straight to neo-natal intensive care. The baby might not last the hour,” my supervisor at the hospital told me on the phone as I was leaving my office at another hospital site.
I had finished a year of seminary and had just begun what is called “Clinical Pastoral Education” or “CPE” in seminary-speak. Another good name for it might be “tear the seminarian’s heart out and show it to him.”
At CPE, they slap a badge on you and call you a chaplain. Whether it be in a hospital, prison, or transition home, you are parachuted into battle. You learn by doing. And I learnt a lot those 12 weeks.
I arrived at the hospital and did just as I was told. I made my way up to neo-natal, the rain was still dripping off my jacket and my shoes tracking mud on the floor.
I asked the nurse where I could find the baby and the family. It was then I was told...(the rest here)