On Being a Chaplain's Wife
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife means getting all dolled up and going out with my honey to a fancy-schmancy dinner. This picture is from several years ago. We recently attend the 50th anniversary dinner for Blue Coats, a Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) organization devoted to the well-being of families of Cuyahoga County safety forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty. He often quips that he stands by the side of the road with a sign which says "
Will pray for food" He prayed the dinner prayer and we enjoyed a wonderful meal. It was noted that we had not had a line-of-duty death with the Cleveland Safety Forces since Patrolman Wayne Leon was killed in 2000.
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife means riding with my husband on the way home from church on a Sunday morning and taking a detour. The detour was to the local hospital where he ministered to a another family who lost a loved one. Sometimes it means being driven home by a stranger because your husband is praying and can't take you home right now.
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife means that I sit in the evenings and knit while he rides with members of the Safety Forces. I watch as he dons his bullet-resistant vest, gathers the other items he needs and heads out. I sometimes think how it would be to be the wife of someone who does this day after day. He asked me when he started going on ride alongs how much information I wanted to know about what he does out on the streets. I said "Anything you do as long as it doesn't involve you being in danger. I would rather not hear about that."
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife means carrying a book in the car just in case he gets called and needs to be there right away. One time we were on our way to a birthday party and had to have friends take me home. I need to be like a boy scout -- always prepared.
But always I do these things willingly because this is my vocation. This is how I can serve God, my husband and others at this point in my life.
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife means waking up at 12:25 in the morning and seeing my husband put on his clerical at the same time he is talking on the phone. That's what happened this morning. "What happened?" I ask. "It's bad" he replies. "An officer has been killed." He leaves and I pray for him and the officers he will speak with. In fact, I fall asleep praying (could you not wait with me for one hour?). I am awakened at 6:15 by my dear husband who has remembered that I needed him to watch our grandchildren who were here for an overnight. He assures me that he will be home by 7:15 a.m. so I can go exercise. How did he remember? I guess that's love and his vocation.
Sometimes being a Chaplain's wife is listening quietly while he explains what happened. Sometimes it means shedding tears.
Here is the prayer that he prayed with the police officers who went on duty this morning, knowing that one of their own will not be at the next roll call and perhaps.....it could happen to them.
PRAYER OF A POLICE
OFFICER GOING ON DUTY
Heavenly Father as I begin my duty again to keep the peace and defend Your people from evil, I pray that You would watch over me and guide me. Keep me safe, I pray, from all harm and danger and grant me the wisdom to make worthy decisions. Watch over my fellow officers and all citizens, especially the weak and the helpless, and bless the vocation which You have given me. Help me to conduct myself as rendering service unto You. By Your protection grant that I may conquer in any kind of danger. Give me the courage to defend myself and others from evil. Bestow upon me, through Your Holy Spirit, the capacity to avoid the temptations of the evil one, and grant the same unto all men. Give me peace of mind in the knowledge that Your Son has paid the price for my sins and freed me from the bonds of death by His death and resurrection on my behalf. Into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Amen.
Psalm 144:1-2 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
PRAYER DURING A STORM
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God Most High, I know Your greatness and my weakness, Your majesty and my unworthiness. O Lord, I am helpless and need Your protection. In Your mercy abide with me. Do not test me beyond my strength in this fearful hour of danger. Protect my home and my dear ones, especially those who are weak and helpless. Give me faith to cast all my anxieties and cares on You, who stills the storms and guides the souls of men through every danger. Amen.
Mark 4:35-41 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"