The Chaplain

I know this is not a new subject, but it still fascinates me as I work
through my call to ministry all those years ago and those who played a providential/synchronistic role. The chaplain was one of them.


He broke every rule of public speaking —
alternately staring down at his manuscript,
then looking up into the thick, dark, high
rafters of the inverted ship, never looking
at those assembled in from of him in the
dark, flailing his arms questioningly,
tapping the side of his head like he was
trying to coax out just the right word.
You would think he had never spoken
in public before, but it was all well
rehearsed, dramatic, effective, mes-
merizing. He would have flunked speech 101,
but he held us captive in the chapel of the
small, Midwest, liberal arts college and
many were inspired to study for the
ministry because of him and his preach-
ing; many aficionados copied his style
and mannerisms never reaching the pinnacle
of that quirky style and some of us have
even figured out a way to forgive him for
inspiring us to that life of preaching.

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