It’s a privilege for me to serve Topeka as a volunteer Fire Chaplain. My primary role is to facilitate the CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) Team. The short story – the CISM team helps first-responders learn tools and techniques to deal with traumatic stress that could impair their ability to function. It’s psychological first-aid for those who see and experience things that many of us will never see or experience.
So tonight I will be filling that role as a couple of us visit Soldier Township Fire Department. Over the last couple of months they have dealt with two fatality accidents involving children as well as the loss of one of their own and his daughter returning from enrolling her in the fire academy in Hutchinson. Tonight we will help all of these firefighters and their spouses try to deal with the hurt and find the ‘new normal.’
And it’s tonight. On Maundy Thursday.
This is not lost on me.
Maundy Thursday – a day where we remember Jesus serving others before he was betrayed and killed. Maundy Thursday – the last Thursday death had free reign and the last word. The last Thursday of dread, fear, and despair. There would never, ever be another Thursday where darkness reigned with no challenge. In less than 72 hours, the world would change forever.
Maundy Thursday was somber.
Good Friday was dark.
Saturday was silent.
But Easter Sunday…
That changed everything. It didn’t take away the hurt of grief or the sting of loss but it kicked down the finality of death. It destroyed the capability of loss to handcuff us to grief forever.
Easter changed everything. For good.
Today is Thursday – for many of these families. We will have to get through Friday and Saturday. But Sunday is coming. I’m praying and hoping to help them to make it through to their Easter.