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During a recent Lent, Rev. Mary Vickers shared some of the things
she has been learning by being an Industrial Chaplain locally

Expect the Unexpected

Walking through town I might speak with someone who is unemployed, or a homeless person, or someone I’ve met in a meeting or at church.  And, as the places I’m chaplain to are varied - food factories, Courts, Police, Fire and Rescue, and Airport, and with other contacts in chemical factories and many businesses organisations as well as small businesses - this variety is multiplied many times.
  During the Lent Group meeting we related all this to 1 Corinthians 12 - everyone being valued, and having a role, whoever they are and whatever they do – so that everyone is important and significant to God and no-one can be beyond God’s concern and great love.
  Although my work is of a particular kind, and involves me in ethical debates on occasions, we also affirmed that, to some extent, this is also the ministry of every Christian: to be prepared, but to expect the unexpected, as we fulfil God’s purposes and call as disciples.

If had to come up with one thing, it would be “Expect the unexpected”.  I never know what to expect when I wake up.  Yes, I can be aware of particular things that are happening in each of the workplaces I visit, as well as in the local economy and community, but who I end up meeting and talking with, and what they wish or need to talk about, is beyond my control.  I have learnt that we human beings are totally unpredictable, and that God truly is a ‘God of surprises’.
   One minute I can be talking to someone who is earning the minimum wage for undertaking a relatively boring and largely unfulfilling job, and whose life rarely takes them away from the area.  The next minute I might be talking to an MD who travels internationally, who is concerned about stocks of in far-flung parts of the world as well as the welfare and employment of his staff here in North East Lincolnshire.