One of God’s Lost Boys – by Rev. Heather McCarrel

It has been one of my greatest privileges to serve as a chaplain over the years.  My first position began in 2006, and since then I have served in several Long Term Care settings, hospital settings, a hospice and, within my own denomination.  This week’s Blog took place during the 18 months I served as a Student Chaplain in a Mental Health Unit.  It is with permission that I share this story.

Photo by Andrew Neel used with permission/Unsplash

I met up with some of God’s lost boys this week, those tossed aside by society but tenderly held in the palm of God’s steadfast grasp.  One has dubbed me “The Spiritual Lady” and is always prepared for prayer each time our paths cross.  This week he yelled from halfway down the hall, “Hey Spiritual Lady!  Do you have time to pray with me?”

“Of course”, I respond and we found a quiet corner. Before we started I asked, “Is there anything specific you want to pray about?”

“I will start the prayer and you can finish it off,” he said, before bowing his head and folding his hands on his lap. I too closed my eyes and settled back into my chair.

With a serious and quieted tone he began, “To whom it may concern.”

My laugh was audible but when I looked up to his earnest posture and continued prayer I knew it meant he wasn’t joking.  He was set to have a serious conversation with whoever would listen.

I again closed my eyes and folded my hands.  What followed was one of the most honest prayers I have had the privilege to eavesdrop upon. He shared his hopes, fears, regrets, and asked for forgiveness for a list of wrong doings.  Before ending he shared in a joke with God saying, “And now I end with “eh-man” instead of “ah-men” (amen) because I am Canadian, eh?!”  Then he laughed at his own joke.

All that was left for me to pray was to thank God for the gift of being present to witness the connection between God and this beloved son of his.  I too ended with “Eh-Men” and we parted with a smile at the private joke shared between the three of us!

May we all take time during these “stay at home” COVID days to find a quiet corner and converse with our ever present Creator, sharing our joys, fears, regrets and wrong doings; may this prayerful time end with such a joy that it fills our days with laughter.

Rev. Heather McCarrel