“Behind you all the way”

Wendy Norris, founder and CEO of Texas Line of Duty Death Task Force, writes on Fire Engineering about the work of chaplaincy:

The journey through tragedy is often lonely. We must navigate that road on our own. It’s within our own mind and soul that we must sort through the mess these devastating situations leave behind. However, when one finds themselves in the deep dark pit of difficult emotions or utter loneliness, the chaplain can come behind and offer a light, a hand on the back to steady, an ear to listen, a voice to cut through the piercing silence. When an individual can make that step forward into their journey of healing knowing that there is someone behind them to encourage them on, this sense of camaraderie may allow them to be braver, stronger, and more at peace with the difficult takes that are ahead.

Chaplaincy isn’t just about the spiritual care of an individual, rather it’s a holistic, all-encompassing support service that a person provides to another. Being a chaplain involves coming beside a person to offer friendship and care, leading when the moment feels too dark and hard, and always, always coming behind to comfort, encourage, and support. Being a chaplain involves lots of prayer, yes, but it also involves words of affirmation and mostly a silent presence—a presence that communicates strength and courage and conveys the message that the individual is not alone.

Read more at Fire Engineering.