He was immaculately dressed in a conservative suit. His hair was neatly trimmed, combed above his ears. His voice was calm and soothing with a slight German accent. If he did not have his hospital ID badge, I would have mistaken him for a visiting business executive. He was the hospital chaplain.
During the recent hospitalization of my daughter, this chaplain visited her room when I was caring for my daughter. It was unannounced and quite welcomed. He explained that all patients are visited by the hospital chaplains, to provide spiritual support and care, and to address any concerns the patient and family members may have. I thanked him for coming and spent a few minutes explaining the medical condition that led to my daughter’s hospitalization. Although his paternal air was certainly in line with my own expectations for the demeanor of a chaplain, I wanted to know a bit more about his background. I assumed he was a Christian chaplain but there was no clue to his background, so I inquired.
“I’m a Quaker!”
As I soon learned from him, he was one of four hospital chaplains, all working in an interdisciplinary Christian setting. The other chaplains were Catholic, Baptist, and non-denominational Protestant.
“We have our doctrinal differences but what unites us is our desire to serve God, through Jesus Christ, and provide comfort and support to patients and their families.”
My heart warmed as I shook his hand. “Thank you, Chaplain. You are all doing a wonderful ministry for the patients!”
For the one who is not against us is for us.
Mark 9:40 (ESV)
It is appalling and deplorable that doctrinal differences between Christians have led to serious divisions and wars, present since the beginning of the Church with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Rightly did our Lord make this statement, forseeing the impending divisions that would divide His Body, the Church. It was refreshing to meet a fellow brother in Jesus Christ, who accepted and put aside any doctrinal differences with his fellow believers, to focus upon the greater mission of ministering to hospital patients and their families and spreading the love of Jesus Christ.
Quaker, Baptist, Catholic-whatever the denomination, if you have confessed and repented of your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a Christian. Are there doctrinal differences? Yes. But I truly believe that if Christian believers focus upon what binds them together, rather than what separates them, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will flourish and more lives will be changed by His love through the work of the Holy Spirit.
“I’m a Quaker.”
Yes. And we are Christians! Praise God for the Church, the Living Body of Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.