I stayed up late reading last night. Too late.
The book that kept me from going to bed was Tales from the Toe Tag Chaplain by Joseph Smith.
For eight years Pastor Smith served as the chaplain for a 60-bed oncology floor in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The stories demonstrate compassion, mercy, and common sense. Many of the tales are tragic, yet often miraculous at the same time. These stories are real. He doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, and sometimes leaves the reader hanging. But, given the restraints of the chaplaincy, this is normal – the way thing must be.
Pastor Smith does not shy away from difficult and sensitive subjects. He clearly states his strong beliefs. But his own views do not keep him from comforting those whose beliefs are different.
One of the goals of the book is to encourage others to consider being a chaplain. It presents a clear-eyed view of the realities and rewards involved in this kind of ministry, open to both men and women.
Here is another review of the book giving more information about Pastor Joe Smith.