November 23, 2016
Mark Rumsey is a CPE student at Carolinas HealthCare System-NorthEast, seminarian and local news host for WFAE-FM in Charlotte, NC.
My professional career has been built around speaking into a microphone. As a radio news reporter, anchor and host for more than three decades - I've delivered tens-of-thousands of newscasts on the air. My "radio voice," slipping in and out of people's daily existence, has momentarily enlightened, calmed, angered, or inspired. Lately, I've been discovering and developing an additional voice - the voice of a hospital chaplain. My journey thus far has included two units of CPE. Along the way, I'm finding that the voice of a radio journalist, and that of a healthcare chaplain, can produce nice harmony.
Likewise, hospital patients, their family members, and healthcare staff often value the presence of someone who can offer emotional and spiritual synthesizing. Chaplains can aid in the processes of clarifying and contextualizing potentially overwhelming or distressing feelings, options, and questions.
As my radio and chaplain's voices continue to blend, I hope to become ever more attuned to the power of deep listening, of abiding in the presence of pain and strong emotions, and of being willing to let a conversation take an unscripted turn or two. And whether I'm behind a microphone, or a chaplain's badge, I'm grateful for every fresh opportunity to develop my own voice - and to more fully hear the distinct voices and stories of the human family.