Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Chaplain's Corner

Guest blogger, Chaplain Paul, is one of the most effective chaplains in America today. He is an emergency responder to every situation.

Hey, this is the Chaplain again.

This past week I attended a funeral. I arrived early because I knew the church would be full; it always is when a young person dies.

As the usher offered to seat me I told him, "I'm on call, I need to stay close to the door." So I took a seat in the last row, close to the door. It was a beautiful service, sad but also hopeful as only a Christian's service can be.

But I've been thinking about what I told the usher, "I'm on call, I need to stay close to the door." That was not a premeditated declaration, just one of those things that came out. But as I thought about it I realized, that in a way, that really is a profound statement, and it rang a bell. Then I remembered a poem by Sam Shoemaker, "I Stand by the Door".

The poem says a lot about what I do as a Chaplain, but it should remind all of us as Christians we are always on call (2 Cor. 5:20) and how important it is to 'stand by the door'!

The poem is a little long for a Minute Message but I really want you to read it; so I have added a shortened version of it below, at the end of this week's email. I hope you'll take time to read it and that it will speak to your heart as it does
mine. God bless you.
I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which people walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind people,
With outstretched, groping hands.
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it ...
So, I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for people to find that door--the door to God.
The most important thing any person can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch--the latch that only clicks
And opens to the person's own touch.
People die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter-
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it-- because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him ...
So, I stand by the door.



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