Misconceptions of Chaplaincy - Illustrated! October 2016

I'm a chaplain (in hospice), and along with the other chaplains in my department I find it can be very difficult to define my role - a role which many people have preconceived (and incorrect) notions about.  As part of our Spiritual Care Month company-wide emails about spiritual care, I drew the following comics to help illustrate some misconceptions about chaplaincy, and then corrected those misconceptions in the captions below.  I drew the comics and co-wrote the captions with two of the other chaplains in my department, Chaplains Mae Wall and Deadra Moore.

They are of course meant to be humorous, but also to provide education about the role of chaplaincy.  Enjoy!

(Update 8/7/2021 - These comics have now been used in spiritual care departments in Tauranga, New Zealand; St. Cloud (MN); Grand Rapids (MI); and were recently featured by @thehospitalchaplain on Instagram which has over 1000 followers.)    

Tree #68 - Fire Tree: Approx. 14" Tall

This tree was created for an individual who lost their house to a fire.  The tree is meant to invoke the burning bush in Exodus 3 of the Tanakh, with the idea being that God is there even in the fire.

Hospice Reflection #2 - 2.6.2016

One of the social workers who I work with and I went to visit an actively dying patient last week in his home.  When we arrived the entire block was full of cars, and inside the house were at least 75 family members - filling up all three levels of the house.  The patient was in a lofted room of sorts, with his wife holding him up in the bed - which she had been doing all night.  The entire room where he was was surrounded by friends and family.  Death was present, but watching his wife's love for him and their family and friends' love for them was one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time.

Hospice Reflection #1 - 2.3.2016

I was struck by a patient's wife's comments on a bereavement visit, where she shared her experience about walking down the aisle of the church after her husband's funeral.  She reflected on how the experience was parallel to the day that she got married, walking down the aisle afterward with her new husband: except this day she now was no longer with him as she walked down a similar aisle.  I drew this comic as a way to remember that visit and the profound thoughts that she shared.