– Monday Muse –
Dear One, recently I had reason to recall what I said to one of our daughters many years ago. She had just graduated from college and had been hired as a Registered Nurse. The request I made of her was, “After you have been nursing for ten years, please stop and ask yourself if you are still serving your patients with compassion.”
What caused the memory to resurface was the result of a tremulous shock. When the incident took place, I was in a great deal of pain, standing or walking was nearly unbearable. (I have since learned that I have a disc problem.) It was late on a Friday afternoon, on the 9th, when I called my doctor’s office. I knew that I would not get in that day, so I planned on making an appointment for Monday. Somehow, I would just have to tough it out until then.
I called the medical center, and explained my problem to what was obviously a disinterested registrar. After checking the schedule, the woman, with all the compassion of an Icelandic corpse, said to me, “You can be seen on October 22nd.” I thought, What? THIRTEEN days away!
As my husband tells it, my response was totally out of character. I replied, “No, I have to be seen Monday.” A freezer-burned voice, said, “I’ll leave a message for the doctor.”
I knew full well that my retort was out of character, for as I spoke I was no longer speaking for myself. My heart had sunk like a rock into watery depths, flooding my being. Torrents of devastating sympathy coursed through my body. All I could think of was the desperate people who had called, or would call, and had been, or would be, coldly dismissed – and left feeling abandoned – alone – of absolutely no concern in his, or her, time of need.
I thought, I have a supportive spouse, family, extended family, small group fellowship, friends, neighbors, church community and a personal faith. What about those who are not only sick, or in pain, or in the midst of an emotional upheaval, but are also alone in life. After they hung up, or hang up, the phone, how did, or will, they cope? I shuddered to think of it. Oh the poor, poor souls.
As I sat at the table with phone in hand, I made the decision to take some kind of action, a kindly action, but one that might bring about change, one that might offer sufferers a gentle and caring voice. Perhaps the registrar had, in the busyness of life, lost the connection between phone voices and human beings, and would hopefully welcome a little reminder. Whatever the reason, the need for compassion was clear. And from what I have learned over my long years is that the one who recognizes a need has received a call…from God.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
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