By Rev. Paul Hills, Vice Chair, CWC
What are we about? As, hopefully, chaplaincy at work gets going again it’s worth asking that question.
There will be lots of answers about care, support, communication etc. and all will be correct. Yet chaplaincy is surely a bit more. I came across this poem by R.S.Thomas recently and I wonder if it speaks to chaplaincy. It’s called “The Bright Field”
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
Perhaps part of a chaplain’s work is to be the one who doesn’t hurry, who has time to be a listening ear, to “loiter with intent”. In that way a “brightness” might be noted, an opportunity to live more fully might be illuminated and taken. It might be difficult to put that on a corporate spreadsheet, but it could be life changing for one person at least.