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I served as a volunteer police chaplain for the Albuquerque Police Department from April 2014 to September 2017. Early one morning, I was called to the scene of a homicide. After arriving I was introduced to the owner of the home where the homicide occurred, who was also a very close friend of the deceased. I sat with him for a good
while, not saying anything, but when he chose to speak he asked why I was there.

“So I suppose you are here to tell me that this is God’s perfect plan for my friend?”

I responded, “Why would I ever tell you that? This is not God’s plan. Your friend is dead because a person made a poor choice, which ended your friend’s life. That was never God’s plan! God’s plan was that you and your wife would be in bed, your friend would be resting securely in his room, and I would not be here. However, because of that person’s bad choice, here we are.”

I feel this story captures a Reformed perspective on chaplaincy because it affirms God’s sovereignty without falling into fatalism. I also see that it distinguishes between what God wills and what God desires. Since we live in a broken world, there are a lot of things that happen that are not in line with God’s desire for His creation, and ultimately Jesus will return to make all things new.

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