by Chaplain Sidney Capillas

Doors. That’s what comes to mind when I consider the impact of COVID-19 upon my work as a hospice chaplain.

Closed Doors

Last month, the once-bustling Silicon Valley came to a screeching halt. California’s high-tech hub, which delves into manipulating matter at the nanoscale, found itself helpless. Six Bay Area counties promptly prohibited meetings of any number—public and private. From March 16 to May 3, unless engaged in “essential activities,” all are to stay home behind closed doors.

New Doors

As a hospice chaplain, I belong to the category of workers engaged in “essential activities.” Interestingly, the anxiety, fear, and sadness that are a daily reality for my dying patients have heightened—not so much for the patients, but for family members, health care workers, and care providers. COVID-19 has caused a growing sense of mortality and of not being in control. Although my face-to-face visits have lessened due to facility restrictions, new doors for ministry have opened by way of increased video conferences and phone calls.

One Door

Despite (rather, because of) COVID-19, various individuals are anxious, afraid, and open for prayer. Through prayer, I have been given opportunities to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am reminded of our family’s photo taken at the ark replica in Kentucky. The ark had one door, pointing to Christ, Who said, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9, NASB).

Sidney Capillas is a hospice chaplain in Milpitas, Calif., and is endorsed by Regular Baptist Chaplaincy. Read more about his ministry in his 2016 article “Hospice Chaplaincy: An Open Door to Share the Gospel.”