Part of my hospital chaplaincy duties is to write a reflection on how it’s going. Identities and identifying factors are altered for privacy. All the writings are here.
“Are you Angela, the wife of Tyrone Simmons?”
“Yes,” she said, voice rising, searing through the phone in my ear. “Yes, chaplain, why?”
“I’m sorry to tell you this, but Tyrone is here at the hospital.”
I hate this part. He’s here at the hospital. I’ve made this call so many times. Are you able to be here? Will you be with anyone? Please drive safely.
Tyrone had been driving to work and he was struck by a truck driver. Most likely died instantly. He probably never knew.
I had found Angela’s number by going through her husband’s wallet. It’s a crazy thing, to look inside the wallet of a dead man. You learn a lot from a person’s valuables. With disposable gloves, I had laid out Tyrone’s belongings on a sheet of paper, each item caked in blood. It’s a clinical process. I feel terrible every time.
The phone number wasn’t written on anything: I had to play detective for a while. This is one of the chaplain’s tasks, to find next-of-kin, to look through every piece of the deceased’s belongings until we had a lead. I chase stories, and underneath them are more stories.
Continue reading “The Call That No One Wants”
Is suffering a “part of God’s Plan”? Does God use trials to teach us a lesson? Does everything really happen for a reason?
A hard look at the Problem of God vs. Suffering, and why easy answers won’t work in the middle of the mess.
Get my book on persevering through trials & suffering, Mad About God.
Writing this one meant a lot to me as it contains real stories from real people with heartache, loss, and (not-so-easy) redemption. I often recounted these stories with tears and prayers. Life doesn’t always wrap up in a bow-tie with a neat little lesson at the end, but people still choose to endure despite all that has happened. Even brokenly, they crawled forward and went on.
I hope you’ll consider picking up the book. It’s on sale for 8.99 in paperback and 3.99 in ebook. It’s meant for you if you’re hurting right now, and meant for your friend if they’re hurting too.
Be blessed and love y’all. — J.S.
Very thankful for Rachel Denk’s wonderful review of my latest book, Mad About God.
An excerpt from her review:
“How many times do you feel like you have to be ‘in the right mindset’ or at a ‘good place’ with God in order to come before Him? Don’t you ever feel like you’ve been told since God is almighty and righteous that we have no right to be upset or angry with Him? And when we can’t suppress pain, anger, or bitterness, all of that is somehow transformed into guilt.
“… J.S. Park beautifully deconstructs all of these notions that have been drilled into us for far too long. And guess what? It’s okay to be upset. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to doubt. It’s okay to not understand why things happen and question God.
“J.S. asks the hard questions. He prompts the difficult ideas. He opens the can of worms that may never truly be shut. My favorite passages from the book include Hijacking And Reclaiming Jeremiah 29:11, Our Hollywood Craze To Live An Epic Life, and The Problem With Job: As We Bleed, We Find Our Deepest Need. Sound intriguing just from the titles? You better believe it. These passages floored me – I often caught myself reading this and thinking how someone seemed to understand this little aspect of my heart and soul that had been secretly struggling for so long.”
Hello dear friends! This is an audio preview of my book Mad About God: When We Over-Spiritualize Pain and Turn Tragedy Into a Lesson, about persevering through pain and suffering.
Preface 1 – I Don’t Have It All Figured Out, and That’s Okay
Preface 2 – Perpetually Skeptical: Screaming Through The Red Sea
Preface 1 is about our crazy need to connect pain with a lesson.
Preface 2 is about the constant, uncomfortable doubts about the existence and goodness of God.
Stream here or download directly here. The book is both in paperback and ebook.
Love y’all and be blessed!
This is the Table of Contents for my book on trials and suffering, called Mad About God.
The book also talks about True Detective, Louis C.K., the Serial podcast, the pressure to be “radical” and do “great things for God,” the romanticism of third world missionaries, overly inspirational Instagrams, The Shawshank Redemption, the misquoting of Jeremiah 29:11 and David & Goliath.
It’s now in both paperback and ebook. Be blessed and love y’all!