• Today's Daily Devotion
May I See A Mirror?
Four patients wounded from the same building explosion arrived at the CASF where Chaplain Janis Dashner served. One of them was named Chuck. He had lost one eye and had ...

May I See a Mirror?

Maj. Janis Dashner, Chaplain, United States Air Force

Four patients wounded from the same building explosion arrived at the CASF where Chaplain Janis Dashner served. One of them was named Chuck. He had lost one eye and had extensive shrapnel facial wounds. The morphine left him confused.

“While in the convoy from the hospital in the Green Zone to us he got disoriented. He shared that ride with a soldier from Pakistan. Hearing the foreign language confused Chuck; I don’t think he realized he was in United States hands,” she wrote on December 12, 2003.

The medical staff asked Dashner to watch him.

“When I took his hand to introduce myself, he held on and didn’t let go. His ‘good’ eye was swollen shut and he couldn’t see. My ministry last night was to talk with Chuck, to calm him down, to wash his arms and legs off so we could see what wounds needed dressings and what were just scratches from crawling through the debris,” she wrote, noting he soon fell asleep.

Chuck woke up two hours later.

“I noticed him as he reached up to touch his face. He was feeling the stitches that had been put in place to piece together his face. Then he asked the question I don’t think any of us expected. Chuck asked if he could have a mirror. As his nurse found one for him, I told him what he was going to see. When he looked at himself, through one blurred eye, he asked me. ‘Do you think my children will kiss me when they see me?’”

As a chaplain, Dashner knew her job was not to have magic answers but provide hope. And although she gave an apt reply, the moment pulled on her heart.

“Wow. Try to stay upbeat and reassuring with that question,” she wrote of the difficulty.

While they loaded Chuck and the others onto the plane, bombs exploded nearby.

“All I could think was how scary it would be to be blind, tied to a litter, and then, on top of all that, hear explosions going off not too far away. Tonight this group will be in Germany, safe from further harm,” she wrote.

As she journaled about Chuck, a mortuary staffer called, asking her to conduct a memorial service.

“In the midst of this job, I am doing all stuff other normal pastors around the world are doing (preaching on Sunday, preparing Bible studies). I am reminded of my seminary professor’s words: ‘that Sunday mornings come with amazing regularity.’”

Prayer:

Remove callousness from my heart. Give me the tenderness of a chaplain and the courage to speak reassuring words to those in need.


Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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