Saturday, November 01, 2014

Change in the Wind, Part Two

Many years ago, I participated in a Clinical Pastoral Education group where almost everyone seemed to be certifiably nuts. There was another Nancy in the group; we had only two things in common: our first names and our sanity. Other than that, we couldn't have been more different. We survived the year and remained on Christmas card terms, connecting for dinner every couple of years.

She became ordained and served a congregation in the poverty belt for a good many years; she was kind enough to serve as a reference for me when I applied for my position as a hospital chaplain. Then she moved upward through the ranks of her denomination and I took her out to lunch in celebration. We still didn't have more in common than our name and our sanity, but we still had those, and that was enough. I mentioned my frustration with my position at The Little Church and she listened like a good pastor would.

A couple of weeks ago a message appeared in my inbox. Nancy was writing to tell me that a continuing care community Not Terribly Far From Philadelphia was looking to establish a care-giving position for residents in transition or experiencing loss. She thought I might want to learn more; the position and I seemed, to her, like a perfect fit.

A meeting with the admin team was wonderful. The community is beautiful, the residents are people of privilege, the administrators are deeply caring people. As we spoke about the position they want to establish, it was as though we all had the same job description on paper in front of us, except there was no job description at all. We worked together imagining possibilities. The position would be a sort of low-key pastoral care position, working with residents who had been widowed, who had lost friends, who were losing their independence. It would mostly involve listening, supporting, and exploring options. We spoke enthusiastically, finishing each others' sentences, referring to the position as "The Listener." It was easy to envision myself in this beautiful setting, working hand-in-hand with these lovely people, helping residents get through their hard times. Again, it seemed a perfect fit.

Enthusiastically, we moved on to the next step: scheduling a meeting with a group of residents.


16 comments:

Karla said...

Oh, big grin!

AnnieO said...

Serendipity seems a theme!

Sujata Shah said...

I love the job title 'the listener'.
It sounds just right!

Synthia said...

I believe in miracles. I'll bet you do too. (grin)

Barbara Anne said...

Mysterious and perfect are the ways of the Lord! All that is needed are people like the other Nancy who are willing and tuned in to be the messengers.

Bliss and a perfect fit, indeed.

Happy hugs!

LizA. said...

It sounds like this position was designed just for you. Something tells me that you won't be missing the "little school" as much in the upcoming future........

Pat said...

And so the journey continues! I cannot wait to hear the next installment.

Susan Heydt said...

This is beyond amazing! Let go, let God, and watch the ride.... Glad you're blogging us through this so we get to see the wind!

Nicole said...

Jump, and the parachute will open. It sounds perfect for you.

chlost said...

My brother is seeking a chaplain position right now. This is a "market" which has so much need and is so underserved. I'm going to mention this to him as another option for him to consider. The title of Listener is inspired. Good luck!

Quiltdivajulie said...

"The Listener" - what a terrific job title . . .

Paula, the quilter said...

I kept looking for the "to be continued". This is so good!

OT Quilter said...

This sounds like the perfect opportunity for you and for the community. As for the job title, "the listener," there is a novel by that name by Taylor Caldwell that I remember reading long ago.

Janet O. said...

I was going to ask if you had ever read the Taylor Caldwell book. Sounds like things are working together for your good (and that of the residents you will serve). So happy for you!

Ray said...

Sounds wonderful.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Perfect fit! I cannot be any happier for you... or for this community! :)