The Chaplain's Notebook


Many things happen in our lives that are totally beyond our control. As I write this article, life is happening all around you. Today I am writing from the waiting room at the UCLA Medical Center, where my daughter is having brain surgery. All our deputies have things going on in their personal lives beyond their job of patrolling and keeping our communities safe.

Our LASD employees, like me, may be going through struggles in their lives that are totally out of their control. Some are facing life-changing diseases, death or serious illness of a loved one or close friend. Some are just trying to get by one day at a time without a serious incident happening. Others are dealing with problems caused by a family member with a substance abuse problem, whereas some others may just be going through difficulties in their work. These struggles can cause additional stress in their lives. Things happen daily that can change how we live and believe. As I mentioned before, some problems are out of our control, but there are some that are completely within our ability to manage, if we take time to survey all the circumstances. Sometimes we feel that there is no one in the world who understands the circumstances that we are going through. Yet we are never alone, because there is One who understands and wants to help.

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” — 2 Corinthians 4:8–9

Yet God still tells us: “I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid.” — John 14:27

It is good to know that we are not alone. We were created for fellowship with one another. When we go through trials in our life, it helps if there is someone we trust whom we can talk to when we are going through things where we might need some advice or just an ear to hear. We should never react or make major decisions alone when we are going through stress or trauma. Taking time to gather your thoughts and speaking with someone will usually allow you to make wiser and safer decisions.

Sometimes we just have to come to an understanding that we do not always have all the answers. Yet God is still in control. Take a deep breath and seek God’s comfort wherever you can find it. If you need to talk and cannot find someone, call me or the PSB. We are here to listen to what you have to say. God bless.

How can I contact a chaplain? Chaplains are available at their unit of assignment, or by calling the Psychological Services Bureau at (213) 738-3500.