Below is Part 6 in the 2014 Pastoral Care Week (Oct. 19-25) series here at CBFblog.
By Winston Shearin, Navy Chaplain
Loving God, may your gracious hope, revealed in your Word and given through your Holy Spirit, lift our hearts in times of trial, comfort our minds in moments of distress, and steady our steps along the journey of life, Amen.
Our military service members, like our fellow citizens in the nation and the world at large, face trying times that challenge our souls. Even as active warfare engagements decrease, the threats of conflict still linger, and many of our military colleagues
hold in their spirits the ghosts of war not long past. In addition to these trials, military families encounter the same issues other people face such as life transitions, family separations, frenetic paces, economic woes, and societal stresses. Some even face poverty, hunger, and abuse. These adversaries nip at people’s spiritual heels like hounds of hell chasing their prey. Some of our precious friends fall victim to these predators and suffer and die in an absence of hope.
I would that I could broadcast the grace of God throughout the entire world and salve the running sores of despair that mar our planet, but I have not discovered the way to scatter hope across the globe and have it stick. Rather, I remain convinced that the love of God, given to us in Christ, must be dabbed, little by little, upon the wounds of crying people.
You and I, brothers and sisters, are physicians assistants to the Great Physician, treating the pain of a hurting world one person at a time. CBF chaplains in all walks of life, including those in the military, strive to rally believers and through them, encourage all people to bask in the power and grace of God. Christians help bring healing by telling the Gospel. It has always been this way, and will forever be true.
Only the truth of God can heal a broken spirit. No matter how unpopular, or marginalized, or reviled this loving truth may be. Even when we find ourselves amidst the hounds of hell, how can we speak otherwise? God’s truth brings spiritual well-being.
Chaplain Winston Shearin is the Second Marine Expeditionary Force Chaplain serving in Camp Lejeune, NC. firstname.lastname@example.org.