Posted by: jmdenham | September 12, 2015

10 Years Ago

  
May 2005.  I just graduated from Pepperdine and then made my way along the 1600 miles of I-10 from California to Houston Tx.  

I came for a Lifeline Chaplaincy internship, where I worked with kids from MD Anderson Cancer Center, older rehab patients at Methodist, and a little bit of interaction at Texas Childrens Hospital.   Life has not been the same since!  That was 10 years ago, amazingly.  I served with four other students, Josh, Maya and Sarah.  What a summer it was, learning about pastoral care, late nights with Josh at Taco Cabana (mind blowing at the time!), kids camp carpooling, and our end of summer project (pictured above).  

Our project was fun, and it sticks in my mind very clearly.  It was a sign of the importance of play, being a kid, and acknowledging the joy of that summer and those friendships.  If you notice, there are four handprints, one from each of the students, and then we gave each Lifeline employee a family personality.  It was quite fun and silly, but it was so special to me.  Really, it reminds me of the smiles that come from being silly with the things most important in my life.  When I take the time to be silly, I tend to remember those special events and relationships for far longer and they tend to bring me more smiles.  The silliness acknowledges the joy, acknowledges that a laugh can permeate and create life around it.  In this case, we acknowledged our summer with silliness and reflected the what we really learned in the summer- family, friendship, grappling with life’s blessings and failures, and loving kids- and doing all those things with a pastorally deep presence of joy and God’s love in the midst of all of life’s journey.  

10 years ago I learned some valuable lessons.  Play like a kid. Take time to be silly.  Chase my call with kids.  Relationships are the foundation of faith.  The power of joy in pastoral care.  Play is a great memorial. And today, teaching at the office of Lifeline, I am reminded of these lessons and the joy of that summer with this picture!

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