From the Curbside to the Bedside – Episode 146
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Featuring: Carl Williamson
Published: January 12, 2019
The hosts of Health, Hope & Inspiration chat with Reverend Carl Williamson about his inspiring journey from being a limo driver at CTCA to being led to serve as Manager of Pastoral Care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago. He also shares his experiences over his 12-year career of helping patients and their families navigate their own personal cancer journeys while bringing them hope.
Reverend Carl Williamson has always had a heart for ministry. He’s been an associate pastor and has worked with Teen Challenge. But when Carl started working at CTCA as a patient limo driver, his life took a dramatic turn when a patient asked him a simple question: “Are you doing what God called you to do?”
The encounter would lead Williamson to the pastoral care department to meet Rev. Percy McCray. “I went down to Pastoral Care. And I knocked on the door, and Reverend Percy, with the phone in his chest—he’s kind of leaning out the door and said, ‘How can I help you?’ And I said, ‘Well, this is what just happened to me.’ He said, ‘Okay, bring your résumé in.’” Eight months later, Williamson was walking the floors as a CTCA chaplain.
Williamson now leads the Pastoral Care Department and the chaplains who offer their support to patients at their most crucial hours and in their most vulnerable states. He believes in bringing a personal touch to patients. “It’s not easy, but internally it’s easy to continue to do such a work, working with those who are facing such a journey with cancer,” he says. “Just relating with the patients, getting in the room, and, again, asking God to use me as His servant to bring hope to people and encourage them.”
- “It’s a privilege to come here every day and be able to help people do what they want to do in serving patients every day and bringing hope.”
- “I see myself as a minister to all, all faiths, all religions when they’re here. And to go in and assess the needs, spiritual needs of a patient, and then be able to meet those spiritual needs is very rewarding. In this environment, we have the freedom to celebrate our spirituality. It’s part of who we are. It’s mind, body, and spirit.”
- “We as chaplains can come alongside of them to kind of help rejuvenate their spirituality and their faith in God, their faith in humanity, again.”
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