Kate Braestrup is a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service. It is her job to provide support and comfort to families of people that have gone missing and to the wardens that are called out for search and rescue. People may be missing due to snowmobiling, ATV , or boating accidents and sometimes suicides or homicides. This book caught my attention because it was Kindle $1.99 deal and Kate is a Unitarian Universalist minister. I attend a Unitarian Universalist church.
The book immediately drew me in because the first story is a search for a little girl missing in the woods.
Kate’s husband was a Maine State Trooper. Fifteen years before his retirement, he was thinking about his second career; to become a minister and work as a chaplain with law enforcement. While on duty as a trooper, he was killed when truck collided with his car. Kate followed his dream and became a minister and a chaplain.
I have read three of her books because there is something calming and comforting about her. ‘Here if you need me’ seems to be her philosophy.
I am still moved to tears when I think of a story she writes about in Anchor & Flares. A young man decides to use a boat as a getaway vehicle in a robbery. He and a friend are crossing a lake in the dark, hit an unseen object, and fall into the lake. His friend makes it to the shore and is helped by the man that owns the store they intended to rob. Divers search for his body in waters that Kate describes as being the consistency of a slushy. Overnight, the temperatures drop and they decide it is too dangerous to keep searching for him and will have to wait for spring. When spring arrives, Kate returns to his story. She describes his mom as a saint even though she does not fit our image of a saint. She also describes the compassion of the wardens.
Interspersed with these stories are deep thoughts on the Holocaust, the torture of suspected terrorists, and the civil rights movement. She gives me much to think about and strive for.