My interaction with guests at Disney was the initial spark for my future ministry. Ministry requires your full attention on the person before you. I took this lesson into my work as a hospital chaplain. Sometimes my patient list was so long that if I focused solely on checking visits off the list, then I wouldn’t be able to spend quality time with any of them. Ministry requires hospitality. Each person we encounter has dignity and worth, so we ought to receive them lovingly and make a welcoming space for them.
Another opportunity for ministry was volunteering for Give Kids the World, which has a resort near Disney World. The children staying there had terminal illnesses, and for many of them, a trip to Disney was their last wish. I volunteered some nights to hang out with the kids while their parents had a date night. It was my first experience being with children who were dying. They had such joy and innocence. I felt within me a yearning to always love the vulnerable among us, a fundamental calling of Christian life.
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