He’d known from an early age what he’d become. He had begun volunteering to help as soon as he knew what service to others meant. As he matured that became the very thing that defined him.

“Must be rough.,” she said with sympathy, jolting him out of his daydream, “That way they look at you.”

He’d become so used to it that he didn’t see it anymore. That look of accusation, the stare of harsh judgement.

“People who respond to my collar have reasons to.”

“It’s so. mean. to judge all of you like that. so disrespectful.”

“I work hard to have compassion. and I mean, honestly, if their lives are touched by a someone who has done horrible things, I honestly can’t blame them. It’s complicated and uncomplicated at the same time. People see what they want to see. Sometimes, I get a smile and a ‘good morning, Father.’ It doesn’t matter to them that I’m Lutheran and not Catholic, or that I’m a hospital chaplain at St. Judes,” he finished with a chuckle, “but even priests need a bus ride to work.”

September 12, 2015