Last month The Banner published a piece called Why My Reformed Identity Matters, a collection of ten stories from members around the CRC about how our Reformed identity defines us, our ministries, and our lives.
Two of our chaplains, Sarah Hoogendoorn and Dirk van der Vorst, wrote pieces that were featured. Below is Dirk's story.
Kari, 19, lost and drunk, was wandering on a Colorado highway when she was hit twice by high-speed traffic. Although the doctors at Denver Health Medical Center tried their hardest, she died shortly after.
Christian Reformed church chaplain Dirk van der Vorst was at the trauma bay when this scene unfolded. After Kari’s death, he comforted the doctor who had done all he could, the social worker who had tried unsuccessfully to locate her family and finally prayed over Kari’s lifeless body.
“The blood on the gurney and walls cried witness to the trauma,” recalled van der Vorst. “On behalf of the dedicated Denver Health staff and all who loved her, I stopped to acknowledge her short life, said a prayer, and gave her over to God’s loving hands.”
That event was just van der Vorst’s morning. The same day he comforted a family whose 8-year-old daughter was brain dead and a homeless army veteran who had no one else with him at the end of his life.
On days like this, van der Vorst said, it’s the “Reformed tendons of his faith that holds him.”
“There is no place we can go where God is not, and nothing will be able separate us from his love,” said van der Vorst, referencing Romans 8. “If this is so, I go to work in confidence. There is nothing that God cannot redeem, restore, or transform. I go to work knowing that my sovereign God has gone before me, actively engaged with his world. That the Holy Spirit accompanies me.”
“I only need to be present and available; that is my job,” added van der Vorst. “To be. Not to fix, control, change, or understand. And I can leave work knowing that all is in good hands because God has not abandoned his world or his children.”