Beyond Blue

Here’s a small snapshot of how my faith buttresses me on a daily basis.

After two weeks of a blizzard, where nothing got done because the kids were home, and one week of vacation, I sat down to go through about 3,000 emails and practically hyperventilated. Despite my new sorting system, I still have 80,141 messages in my inbox and 2767 unread.

How am I ever going to catch up? I asked myself. Why am I always playing catch up? When will I be able to keep peace and serenity for more than 23 seconds?

On the way to the kitchen (because dark chocolate solves most problems), I picked up the mail and opened a letter that Guideposts magazine had forwarded to me by a reader regarding my January story about the large statue of Jesus in the administration building of Johns Hopkins University. Here’s what it said:

jesus statue.jpg
Dear Mrs. Borchard,

I was pleased to read “The Healer” in the January 2010 issue of Guideposts. I am delighted that you were able to get some help at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. For thirty years (before retirement) I was the Senior Chaplain there and they were both the most demanding and the most rewarding years of my fifty years of ministry.

There are so many stories that occur around the statue. I thought that you might like to hear one with a touch of humor…

I was waiting for the elevator that is near the statue when I saw a mother and her young son (I would guess he was about 6 or 7 years old) who was being discharged from the hospital. His one arm was in a cast. As they stood looking at the statue I heard the mother say to her son, “Do you know what that is?” To which the child said, “Yea … that’s God.” He stood looking at the statue for a few minutes – then he backed up about four or five steps, put his good hand on his hip and said (with disgust in his voice), “Well, what are you doing down here?”

Isn’t it good to know that God is “down here” as well as being “up there”?

I pray that you are well and that you will continue to get even better in the days to come.


Clyde Shallenberger, D.D., D.H.L
Chaplain Emeritus,
The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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