The tall, thin man walked into our office suite at the hospital today looking lost. “May I help you?” I said. He looked me over and asked if one of our chaplains was available. “Sure, what can I do for you? I asked.
“Are you a chaplain?” he asked.
“Yep, I am, my name is Malcolm, tell me yours.” I shook hands with Tom as we walked into the chapel next door and sat down.
He said he needed my prayers because he was struggling with drinking too much, had lost his job, and he didn’t have anyone in his life that cared for him. He did not try to cover the naked truth about his life. His honesty was refreshing.
He was well versed in the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous. He knew he needed to get involved in AA meetings again, and possibly look at another recovery program.
He said he knew God could help, but he had promised God that he would do better so many times in the last few years, he wondered if God was sick of his empty promises. He knew all the right answers, and he described what he needed to do, but he still couldn’t quite do it.
I nodded my head. I knew what he meant.
We have all made unkept promises whether it was to God, or to our partner, or to our family, or to ourselves.
If we are honest, we are sick of our own promises. And we have lost our way.
So what do we do with the promises that are still waiting to bud from the winter times of life?
This time of the year reminds us that spring is coming. And with it comes the hope of new life and new beginnings. Like Tom, we all need that hope that this time will be different.
And this hope is just in time for Tom, and for us.