About the title, part 2: Jesus

As I mentioned in my previous post, “Jesus Lady” is a nickname I was given at the hospital.  It happened a few years ago, when I was called to the room of a very sick pediatric patient.  They asked me to give voice to their prayer and I did so the best I knew how, after asking them specifically what they wanted me to pray for and what their beliefs were.  When I returned to the room the next night to check on the child, he was, to everyone’s surprise, doing much better.  As I was leaving the hospital the following morning, I heard someone yell from across the parking lot, “Hey, Jesus Lady!”  I turned to see the child’s father, smiling and giving me the thumbs up.  “Great job!” he said.  I laughed and waved off the compliment, feeling that whatever good had been done, it was certainly not within my power to do it.  (If I did have that power, I’d make sure every patient I prayed for made a full recovery, and I can assure you that is NOT what always happens.)  A few of my friends on staff heard this exchange, and teasingly called me Jesus Lady for a long time after that.  Some of them still do. Continue reading “About the title, part 2: Jesus”

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About the title, part 1: Chaplain

Other than my first name, “Chaplain” is the one word I get called most often.  Come to think of it, I may even answer to “Chaplain” more often than to “Stacy.”  I began as a chaplain intern in 2006, and since then it has become not only my career and calling, but a huge part of my identity.  Being a chaplain has definitely changed me and what I believe in lots of ways.  I would even go so far as to say that becoming a chaplain has changed the God I believe in, but I’m okay with that.  I was believing in the wrong one before, a god too small, too easy.  And even now, I know my best guess at Who/What I’m worshiping can’t possibly be right.  But since I’m going to err anyway, I’d rather err on the side of grace and love.  That’s what I try to do in the hospital, where God somehow trusts me to walk alongside those who are suffering, bringing their awareness not only to my presence but to the presence of God who is Love, and hopefully showing them in some real way that they are not alone. Continue reading “About the title, part 1: Chaplain”