The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


From a cocoon to a butterfly

When I met Jean, hard living and an AIDS diagnosis had weathered her beyond her 40 years. As a chaplain, I was part of a hospice team that helped her during the last stage of life's journey.

Jean had spun a cocoon of shame around herself. She'd never known unconditional love and couldn't conceptualize God's love. She'd fed her hunger for love with drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling.

She kept us all at a distance. I was not allowed to enter her apartment — until the day I was the only one available to deliver her pain medication.

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December issue


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