A special message from Rev. Reid Cooke

After 10 years of faithful chaplaincy service to Christian Legal Fellowship, Chaplains Rev. Reid and Esther Cooke have moved to future endeavours and continue to pray for the CLF Family. The below are some farewell thoughts from Rev. Reid Cooke.

Dear CLF family,

As I write this, the calm waters of the Pacific glide under our ship, while we sail the west coast of South America. Many of you know that Esther and I are here on the MS Amsterdam as Chaplaincy team, on a world tour. Our itinerary literally takes us around the globe. Next stop is Easter Island! Then on to French Polynesia, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, etc. On the ship we are honoured to preach the love of Christ with passengers and crew, on a regular basis. It is incredible to be here for the next 4 months.

But now it’s time for a bit of reflection. Over the last ten years we have been privileged to be part of CLF in the role of Chaplain. I have criss-crossed Canada several times visiting lawyers and student lawyers and making thousands of phone calls and emails. My role has been to encourage with the love of our Saviour. 

What lessons have I learned, I ask myself?

First, I know that lawyers are different from many other professionals, and that is a good thing in so may ways. You are trained to think outside the box, to be creative and analytical. Because many of you are “A” type personalities you are goal orientated and “win-focused”. This can create some interesting scenarios. I have seen this on many occasions as I have engaged with you in conferences and meetings, and in our phone conversations and prayer times. This drive has also created for you some faith collisions in your home, office and personal life. This is why I now see that prayer cover is so crucial to law professionals. We continue to hold you up in prayer, and feel driven to do so!

I have been honored to step in and walk with many of you through these pot-holes of life. I thank you for your trust and confidence.

Secondly, at the end of the day, lawyers are just ordinary people!  You hurt and cry and feel rejection just like the rest of us. Please don’t forget to be real. I am grateful that you have given me the privilege of seeing this soft side, the transparent side that you don’t always reveal to others. 

Someone once said to me Jesus never met a doctor, a lawyer, a prostitute, or a thief. He only saw each one as individuals whom the Father loves, and their potential in His economy. In that case, there is no need to impress, or to be looking for affirmation in the lawyerly arena.

Thirdly, here is the reason that we first got involved in the Chaplaincy ministry back in 2008. The passion and commitment in the young law students we observed at a National Conference simply blew us away! Their heart for God and their desire to make a difference in this world is inspiring. Always fan that flame in yourselves. Be deliberate in remembering your passion and stay the course for the Master. 

Colossians 3:12-14 (The Voice) says these words:

[12] Since you are all set apart by God, made holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a holy way of life: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. [13] Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kind. [14] But above all these, put on love! Love is the perfect tie to bind these together.

To say that our involvement in CLF has changed our lives would be an understatement. In fact, even on this trip, thanks to Brent McBurney of Advocates International, we are endeavouring to make contact with Christian lawyers worldwide. We look forward to future contact with you at CLF, as God leads. God has set you in our hearts.

Stay the course.

In His love,

Reid and Esther