Friday, September 18, 2015

NSW (Day 6) IPCA VII I Can Do This Hard Thing...

I'm writing this on Friday evening.

Tomorrow Peg and I will make our way 10km to the north shore to St Ignatius College Riverview, a Catholic Boys School where the seventh gathering of International Prison Chaplains will take place.  There we will meet up with Greg Rodgers, one of the other partners of Kairos Pneuma Chaplaincy Inc. and countless other Chaplains from around the world.

I was privileged to attend the sixth gathering in Stockholm Sweden and up until August 20th I was excited to be attending this gathering, representing Kairos Pneuma Chaplaincy Inc. and its services to the Correctional Service of Canada and the men and women in their care.

Unfortunately, on August 20th we were informed that we had not been successful in our bid to continue - that we have been underbid by a competitor organization, and as a result, our service delivery would cease as of March 31st 2016.  It's going to be a hard thing - being here: so deeply connected to chaplaincy - but with no future in the work beyond March...

I'd thought seriously about staying away... but I'm here.  I can do this hard thing.  I can do it because the work of caring for those incarcerated, the critical mission of holding hope for those who cannot hold it themselves... that is always more important than who does it... And so I am here.  And I will try to be fully present, bring my best self to this work that has so drained me and filled me... I'll share my wisdom and passion... and I'll treasure the moments as they unfold.

Carrie Newcomer posted a song the other day that moved me to tears - likely because of the hard thing to be faced tomorrow and the hard things still to be done in the months ahead when I get home.

You Can Do This Hard Thing.  A dear friend typed out the words for me as I was not hearing them all...  Thanks so much!!  XOXO
You Can Do This Hard Thing 
There at the table with my head in my hands,
With a column of numbers I just could not understand.
You said add these together, carry the two, now you... 
You can do this hard thing, you can do this hard thing
It's not easy I know, but I believe that it's so, you can do this hard thing. 
At a cold winter station, breathing into our gloves
It would change me forever leaving for God knows what
You carried my bags, you said I'll wait for you 
You can do this hard thing, you can do this hard thing
It's not easy I know, but I believe that it's so, you can do this hard thing. 
Late at night I called and you answered the phone.
The worst it had happened and I did not want to be alone
You quietly listened, you said we'll see this through 
You can do this hard thing, you can do this hard thing
It's not easy I know, but I believe that it's so, you can do this hard thing. 
Here we stand breathless and pressed in hard times
Hearts hung like laundry on backyard clothes lines
Impossible just takes a little more time. 
From the muddy ground comes a green (volunteer)?
In a place we thought barren new light appears.
Morning will come whistling some comforting tune for you 
You can do this hard thing, you can do this hard thing
It's not easy I know, but I believe that it's so, you can do this hard thing.

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