The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

REVIEW: No Small Miracles: Heartwarming, Humorous, and Hopefilled Stories from a Pediatric Chaplain Review

REVIEW: No Small Miracles: Heartwarming, Humorous, and Hopefilled Stories from a Pediatric Chaplain
By Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries, author of
Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend

The loss of a daughter who is simply taking a photo of a blimp. . . giving birth to a child you know will live less than ninety minutes. . .Who would believe these stories could give one hope? Norris Burkes, author of No Small Miracles: Heartwarming, Humorous, and Hopefilled Stories from a Pediatric Chaplain, however, does just that. Through his eyes as a chaplain husband, and father we are given an inside look at the daily joy a someone in his profession can find even in the darkness of the most devastating circumstances.

Burkes has experience as a chaplain who has worked in pediatric chaplaincy as well as a military chaplian. Filled with just the right amount of honest vulnerabilities and even humor, this book reminds us about what is truly important. As one who lives with chronic illness and ministers to thousands who spend countless hours in the hospital, I’ll admit that reading more stories about people who suffer is not how I prefer to spend my free time. This book, however, isn’t about the illnesses or the pain, but the miracles behind them–the miracles that sometimes come in forms of physical healings, but more frequently as miracles with less glitz: spiritual healings, the healing of relationships, sometimes the gift of peace God gives us as we surrender everything over to Him.

Pain creates many questions:

  • Why did this have to happen?
  • Does God really care?
  • Why do I have to suffer?
  • What’s the purpose behind all of this pain?

Burkes addresses all of these with both scriptural authority, but real, down-to-earth words from a "regular guy." I especially appreciated his challenge and clarification of the statement we’ve all heard during difficult times in our life: "God says He won’t give me more than I can handle."

Despite my ministry, Rest Ministries and HopeKeepers, which teaches people how to comfort the chronically ill, I find myself in awkward situations when words seem pointless and yet are expected by someone who is hurting and looking for encouragement. I laughed out loud a few times at Burkes’ "human" responses to people who needed to talk to a "real person" and not necessarily a "professional chaplain." For example, on page 82 he describes a man who was a heart patient and a former military engineer. When he told Burkes, "I’m not sure I even believe in God," Burkes responded, "That’s OK. I’m in customer service, not sales."

Being a chaplain is a calling and it’s no secret that chaplains are put into situations on a daily basis where they have the opportunity to comfort and minister to someone in need. But Burkes emphasizes that this gift is not for chaplains alone, but rather all of us are given the chance to reach out to people who are hurting. All of us can hold someone’s hand and say, "You can cry with me if you want to."

Burkes’ book, No Small Miracles, is not only a gift to chaplains and those in the medical helping profession, but each of us who undeniably will find ourselves sitting next to someone–a friend or stranger–who simply needs hope. This book is a great reminder and guide in helping us find the right words (or no words at all) to point one in the direction of true hope, the Lord Jesus Christ.

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s