A personal update today.
First, I have accepted a part-time position as a hospice chaplain. I did this full time for about 2 years in the past, and while 50 hours a week (including on-call) was overwhelming for my introvert, the part-time rhythm is perfect. Hospice chaplains sit with people who are dying and with those who are watching them die. It's intense work, as you can imagine, but there are some powerfully sacred moments.
A few years ago, I was called to the bedside of a man who was taking his last breaths. His wife was by his side when I arrived, and I was followed shortly by his adult son and daughter who had driven an hour to be with him. I stood by and watched as they stroked his face, told him what a wonderful father he had been, and gave him permission to go. Tears flowed freely. We then all joined hands around his bed while I prayed for him. His daughter, a registered nurse, kept one of her hands on his neck while we prayed, feeling his pulse. We thanked God for the gift of life, and for guiding this man's life every day. We asked for mercy and comfort as the Lord brought his child into his arms. As I closed the prayer, and we all said Amen, the daughter said that his pulse had stopped. We stood on holy ground.
Second, and this is minor compared to that story, it's been a discouraging week for me as a writer. I have told you I'm trying to get a second book contract, and I submitted a proposal on listening to several publishers. This week I've heard several no's and I even had my writing style criticized. I could definitely use your prayers for my book to find a home. All the publishers have liked the topic but lamented that while people need to read a book on listening, they probably won't. Publishing has always been a tough industry but it's just brutal right now. It's actually been harder for me to find a second book contract than it was for the first, even though Introverts has exceeded sales expectations.
I'm not giving up though.
Happy new year, my friends.