A Chaplain’s Love

Valentine’s Day this year, like in years past, was looking like it didn’t have very many plans accompanying it. I needed to be available and on campus throughout the evening, so I had resigned myself to eating some Wisey’s and picking at the rest of my Christmas chocolate in my cabinet to celebrate the holiday.

The Monday before the weekend’s festivities began, I got an email from Lindsay, a Chaplain-in-Residence living in Copley, inviting me to her home to celebrate Valentine’s Day with her and some other residents. I immediately said yes, and knowing I could finally see Lindsay after so long brightened the rest of my week. I wasn’t dreading the weekend ahead anymore, but rather, I was excited to see someone I truly loved and cared about.

You see, Lindsay wasn’t actually ever my direct chaplain; she moved onto the first floor of New South when I was living on the second floor. Seeing a new face around the building made me want to stop by and say hello one evening, and we had a really great conversation that day. Ever since then, I waited for her weekly cookies and coffee event so I could drop by and chat, just to see how her week had gone and share my own ups and downs. Even though I didn’t live on the first floor of New South, Lindsay never made me feel like I wasn’t one of her own. I was able to share so many wonderful experiences with her after that first cookies and coffee day, including her getting married and moving into a new space in Copley. When she moved, I thought, “surely this would be the end of our time together.” I was moving to a new space on campus, too, and although we had promised to keep in touch, it probably wouldn’t happen…until I asked to stay on her weekly chaplain’s listserv.

One day the following year, I finally had the time to head over to Lindsay’s chaplain event, and I got to talk to her all about my worries going abroad for the upcoming semester. She was supportive, reassuring, and helpful throughout the process, always offering to lend a hand where it might be needed but also being an active listener. When I left to go abroad, I figured I may never get to keep in touch with her afterwards, but I kept getting her emails and had to come back the following semester, during my senior year, to thank her for all of her help during the process.

That’s why when I received her Valentine’s Day dinner email, I knew why I had to attend—because Lindsay has been one of the most loving and caring chaplains I’ve ever met and connected with, and I wanted to take this time on Valentine’s Day to appreciate her. It wasn’t just the meal, or even spending the holidays indoors in a warm space, but having the comfort and love of Lindsay as not just a chaplain, but always my chaplain, regardless of whether or not I lived in New South or Copley, that makes me love her so much. She has not only been a source of inspiration throughout my Georgetown career but also a special friend whom I’ll have with me beyond May 2015, when I head out of the front gates and into the real world ahead of me.

Noreen Sajwani, NHS ’15