The door is always open to the Chaplain’s office at The Ottawa Mission. Some people drop in daily to see a friendly face and others come in looking for guidance in a time of crisis. As well, an average of 25 people attend the small Chapel Service held daily at The Mission.
Many of the people who turn to The Ottawa Mission for help have experienced rejection, major disappointments, or have survived a personal tragedy. The Mission provides much-needed spiritual support to help these people along their life journey. The Chaplain leads daily chapel services and provides personal support to people in the shelter and others living in the community who seek help in coping with the stresses and pressures of everyday life. The Chaplaincy team also provides spiritual guidance to people dealing with addictions and to those living out their final days in The Ottawa Mission’s Hospice.
REFLECTIONS FROM OUR CHAPLAIN
Lenten Series: Journey to the cross
One of the stories from Jesus’ life that often surfaces in the Lenten season, is the healing Bartemeus, a poor, blind man on the street. This story is one of several interactions that Jesus had with persons in need as he walked his final journey to Jerusalem – to the cross. (Mark 10:46-52)
The reasons for Bartemeus to want to seek out and approach Jesus, would have been quite apparent to anyone who had encountered this man along this roadside. He was blind and poor, and his level of despair would have been enough to motivate him to cry out to Jesus for mercy. Yet, despite the obviousness of this man’s physical and emotional needs, Jesus still asked Bartemus the question; “What do you want for me to do for you?”
By asking this question, Jesus was able to do far more Bartemeus than simply heal him from his immediate need for physical sight. He allowed Bartemeus to take responsibility for his life by naming his need. And by doing so Jesus was able to help this man restore his sense of self-worth and dignity.
The Ottawa Mission, with its slogan “more than a shelter,” seeks to do much more than simply respond to the immediate needs of our clientele. We seek to help those who come to us seeking food and shelter to find something much more. We find ways to help people identify their deeper human and spiritual needs, and to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity. It has been said that one of the greatest acts of love is to help another person to be able to take responsibility for their own lives.