Invisible Influence

Little LakeI’m sure he doesn’t remember the conversation but it changed my life.

I was walking out of the hospital late in the evening this week after three chaplain pages in a row. I had one of those, “How did I get here?” moments. Do you ever have those?

It all started with a brief conversation nearly forty years ago. So brief and routine that I’m sure the other party, the young chaplain at St Francis Hospital in Evanston, probably forgot about by dinner time that evening. But I didn’t.

This is how it went:

Me: (intrigued by a sign on a door that said Spiritual Care) What do you do here?

Him: I visit the patients, listen to their stories, pray for them, encourage them.

Me: And you get paid for that?

Him: (laughing) Yes.

That was it! Not too memorable, right? But it changed everything.

I slipped the conversation into my “someday” mental file and went back to work.

Now I’m sitting with folks in the ICU and having in-depth conversations about actual life and death stuff. It’s not all sad, lots of joyful moments too. All because of one conversation. (More on the back story

All of us are having encounters every day that might end up changing someone’s life, yours included. We just don’t know which ones.

Usually, we aren’t aware that something important just transpired. Some dreams take a long time to grow after planting the initial seed.

So thank you to the chaplain long ago, the woman on the park bench who told me  to keep seeking, the guy who first handed me information about a new relationship with Jesus, and all the other countless anonymous individuals who had a hand in where I’m at now from a single conversation.

Hopefully I’ve done the same for a few others. You have too.

Hope for the best,





2 Responses to “Invisible Influence”

  1. 1 Linda Sylvester February 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Yes, you have made a big difference in my life. Thank you for the conversations, prayers and support over the last few years. Thank you for your writing gift as well. Much love, Linda

  2. 2 Letitia Suk February 4, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    So kind, Linda, thank you!

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