Monday, January 30, 2017

"Here if you need me" a true story

Drew Braestrup was a Maine state trooper considering ministry training when he was killed in an auto accident. After profound grief, his wife Kate took his place at the Unitarian Seminary in Bangor. "I'm Drew's remains," she told a professor. Her book, "Here if you need me" is a superbly crafted memoir of love, loss, grief, hope and faith. After graduation, she became a chaplain for Maine game wardens who conduct search and rescue missions. Why would game wardens need a chaplain? Because victims are sometimes found dead, and wardens believe death has a spiritual dimension.

One episode makes this clear. A deeply depressed young mom took an overdose of sleeping pills and walked into the Maine woods to sleep forever. Her brother was near the scene when wardens found her body. He just nodded silently when they told him, "your sister is dead," but then the warden said, "and here is Chaplain Braestrup." When the victim's brother saw her collar, he began sobbing. He asked if his sister was eligible for a church funeral. He said "she went to church last Sunday,and the minister said suicide is the only sin God NEVER forgives." Here's what Chaplain Braestrup told him as they stood alone in the cold Maine woods. "God is holding your sister close to His tender heart. She is safe. She is forgiven, and she is free from pain.Why am I so sure? The game wardens have searched the woods in the cold rain all day, trying to find your sister so they could bring her home to you. And I am sure God is not less merciful than a Maine game warden." Check your library for "Here if you need me," or buy a copy at

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