I was chatting with some friends, from out of town, who were interested in learning more about my ministry. After several minutes of conversation, I said, “It’s a bit chaotic.” My friend piped up, “That’s the sixth or seventh time you’ve used that phrase.” I hadn’t realized that chaos was quite so much on my mind.
Of course chaos is very much on my mind! My life is very messy right now. I started back full-time at Saint John Community Chaplaincy two days ago. I have been away since April and much has changed. There is no ‘drop in’ or lunch program. The mandate is to return to the original purposes of working closely with ex-offenders to help them become good neighbours. My current contract expires in September and one of two things will happen: I will be offered the chaplaincy as a part-time position, or I will not be offered the position, at all. Over these last months I have come to a place of (I almost wrote complete peace but that would be an exaggeration) relative peace. With God’s help I will be content no matter the outcome!
Knowing that I will need at least a part-time ministry this fall, in consultation with many counsellors, I have accepted the challenge of pioneering ‘Street Hope Saint John’. I have been meeting folks daily for prayer about this and we are forming as a ‘community’. I am putting together an advisory council. I am so grateful to have the treasurer’s role filled. Monday I begin a new program, our first under the Street Hope banner, “Recovering Hope” which will be a Christ centred study and support group for those struggling to overcome addictions and damaging behaviours. We are planning our official “Launch Event” for September 14th.
We are in the midst of plans for our annual Deer Island Vacation. This year, that means that participants are contributing in a variety of ways to the finances, in order to make that happen. We have already had a group bake and sell cookies (40 dozen). Others are planning a yard sale and some are giving sacrificially, out of their meagre incomes. We are going, though we do not yet know how!
Linda and I are done our “Year of Weddings” as both of our children were married this year. This, of course, led to more chaos.
Being ‘unwell’ and on EI created another level of chaos.
I have always said that I thrived on chaos but that theorem has been put to a severe test of late. I am reminded though that in Genesis God created out of chaos. Chaos may not be the place where we want to live but in His hands it is the place of creativity.
Today I am getting glimpses beyond the chaos. I see, as through a glass darkly, glimpses of God’s plans for me and my ministry. Perhaps after sailing on the choppy waters I am making way into a Fair Haven on this journey from Chaos to Contentment!