Today I sit down with Paul Benz, MDiv to get his insight into his role as a Spiritual Care Provider.
Paul Benz is a King County based Mental Health, Addiction, Grief and Trauma Chaplain of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Paul is a Street Minister from Operation Nightwatch and a Spiritual Care Provider/Chaplain for a level one trauma center in Seattle.
Spiritual care providers are a crucial part of the medical team - they attend all codes, they sit with the dying, the suffering, and give patients and family members solace during really stressful times, as well provide staff support.
Pastor Paul talks about his work, how he was called to it and how he metabolizes it when things are heavy. This is a very real conversation about death and how we approach death in the 21st century in Western America. And having been in this work, he has some interesting revelations. Don't die with regrets and live your life in a way that doesn't cause harm. He references this text that is very "life giving." And he also has great insight on how to live your life - "To learn to love more truly" and "love thy neighbor" he says.
We also talk about what is going on in Ukraine right now and he sings a beautiful tribute to the Ukrainians who are being persecuted right now. He chose to sing 'This is my Song' and it comes from Finland's own experience with a Russian invasion in the 1930s.
This is a very real and raw episode. Thank you, Paul for delivering this beautiful episode with me.