I have just come into my office for my fourth day back into my work. Yesterday as a part of my day I did 6 hours of chaplaincy. In total I have done eleven hours in chaplaincies so far this week with more to come today. The thing that has hit me as I have returned from holiday is the warmth in the reception I have received. People have seemed genuinely pleased to see me. I end up my chaplaincy time feeling quite tired. It is tiring listening actively even though there have been no dramas. But I have appreciated reconnecting. I feel I have a great privilege to know so many good people.
As I walked up the road to one chaplaincy site the other day a van from one of my other workplaces drove by. The driver wound down the window, waved enthusiastically and yelled friendly abuse. "Get a real job!" he said. Sometimes when I am sitting yarning with people, riding the fire engine, learning about printing, newspapers, brewing or ambulance work, I pinch myself and say, "Am I really getting paid to do this? Is it a real job?"
"Thank you God for the people I am privileged to know."
Three ten hour days done, today will be thirteen. I have people ringing up asking if drop-in centre is open tonight, they have missed it. One of my "spare-time" jobs this week has been getting the drop-in centre tidy and ready to operate again. I better go and fix that pocket on the pool table.