Below is Part 2 in the 2014 Pastoral Care Week (Oct. 19-25) series here at CBFblog. Be sure to read the introductory post to this series by Gerry Hutchinson, CBF’s endorser for chaplains and pastoral counselors.
By Tommy Deal
It began like any day; I had a rough plan of things to accomplish. However, one disgruntled former employee chose to go on a rampage at a downtown business.
Nothing on my list was accomplished that day — God had other assignments for me.
As a police chaplain in Orlando, Fla., 12 hours of that day and the two following days, I along with many other chaplains, pastoral counselors, clergy and lay leaders of local churches reached out to victims’ families, fellow employees and many more who needed help deciphering this flash of life that became all-too-evident that day.
In addition, as a law enforcement chaplain, I sought to comfort and encourage the men and women who charged in while others were fleeing and the emergency personnel who attended the injured and deceased. Through all of this, I saw God work through many in the midst of much turmoil and hurt.
I received from God an affirmation of my calling of ministry of presence to those in our communities who answer our calls.
Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Take my hand, precious Lord.
As you encounter police officers, fire fighters and emergency medical personnel, breathe a prayer of thanks for their service and ask God to give them a special anointing for wisdom in the performance of their duties and protection as they serve and protect us.
Tommy Deal, a volunteer chaplain with the Dalton, Georgia Police Department is a CBF-endorsed public safety chaplain with more than 25 years of experience as a chaplain of police and fire departments.