November Chaplain's Reflections

Maj. Christina Pittman portrait

U.S. Air Force Maj. Christina Pittman, the wing chaplain assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C, October 31, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- As we enter the season of Fall embracing all the transitions of color and weather, I consider the idea that change is not all bad. Even nature is aware that transitions are a part of the new growth that will follow the harshness of winter. The same is true of us, we are in transition of life. What are some changes you are experiencing now? 

You may be coming back from deployment, entering a new career field, welcoming a new member of the family, or even taking care of aging parents. These and many more events try our spirits and stretch us. In the times we are unsure of life and the transitions which come, we can be reminded we are not indestructible or alone.

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV) it reads, “7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” These verses sum up the reality of transitions which challenge us. As humans, we are fragile like a vessel of clay that can be easily broken. The hope in our frailty is found in the all-surpassing power which is beyond us. Stretching and growing ourselves can bring about cracks in the vessel of our lives, but as it says in 2 Corinthians, God molds us back together.

The Japanese know this reality through Kintsugi, the art of fixing broken pottery with gold. Through this craft, broken and damaged pottery is molded back together with fine metals. This process accentuates the objects beauty rather than hiding the repair. I like to believe we are the same way. When life gets tough and presses on us from every side, we can rest assured we will not be destroyed when we allow our spiritual strength to come in and restore us back together creating a beautiful masterpiece. 

Brokenness in our lives does not need to be hidden from the world. Share in each other’s burdens so that as broken vessels in jars of clay, we can overcome the despair, abandoned, and crushed feelings. When the spiritual light shows through our brokenness mended with sacred gold, others can see and be encouraged they too are a work of art for the light to shine through in times of growth and transition. Then others will know their brokenness is welcome in your presence.

If you desire more information or support on spiritual strength or religious provisions, please call the SCANG Chaplain Corps office at 803-647-8265. 

You may also email me at christina.p.pittman.mil@mail.mil. We look forward to serving you!