The power of this ministry is in its altruistic service. If chaplains provide compassion by hearing another’s burdens, then the chaplains choose to “suffer with” those who are suffering. Providing compassion requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone and intentionally entering a place of crisis – danger, pain, loss or grief – during the spiritual and emotional crises of life.
Therefore, the chaplain cannot deny the reality of the crisis, should not minimize the sense of loss it causes, and may not be able to diminish any of the pain. But, the chaplain offers the comfort of a "Higher Power" presence through words of comfort and assurance. Presence may invite a sense of community within the crisis, may lead to healing reconciliation, or may reconnect a disenfranchised person with their higher power belief.