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One thing I have learned from working at a Psych Hospital is reading a patients charts (background history) explains a LOT, we ALL have baggage in our past and often that baggage dictates our emotional makeup, we can offer therapy and help people process that baggage. One of the saddest cases I ever encountered happened about 7 years ago, I had a patient that was admitted for killing his mother when he was 17, I used to go on the wards and take communion to the locked down patients. He would never take communion because he felt God would never forgive him for what he did….well long story short he had cancer in the intestines and he was near death, I eventually convinced him he could be forgiven and he died 2 weeks after He prayed for forgiveness and took communion for the 1st and last time in his life…..NOW the part of the story that really got me, was I read his whole chart one day and I cried, this kid was molested by a step-father from the time he was about 4 years old till he was 10, the step-father was eventually caught but…now I understand WHY he had the kind of rage to want to kill his mother, was it the right thing to do? NO! Murder is wrong…however allowing a child to be raped for 6 years is wrong too, being schizophrenic didn’t help either…..Chaplains we have a LOT of hurting people that need our compassion, understanding, and FORGIVENESS.

Chaplain Mark Stevens, Th.D, CPRP

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