Before the year’s end, I had to get bloodwork drawn for my annual physical. To expedite the process, I pre-registered through the portal so I could ‘zoom in and out’. Funny (or not so,) how the word Zoom has taken on a new meaning in 2020! However evidently, my pre-registration, through the portal, didn’t take. So, there I was at a kiosk having to go through the entire process again. Even after telling the service rep (twice) that I had pre-registered she said “Huh, it didn’t seem to take. Sorry! we’ll have to start again. It won’t take long”. She was professional. She was kind. She was calming.
By the way….this was on top of having been there yesterday but was turned away because the phlebotomist would not draw my blood after hearing I had had a V8 before coming. “This is a fasting test,” she said. “Huh,” said I. “It’s never been that way before”. “Yeah, with the tests your Dr. ordered, it needs to be a fasting test”. Again “Huh,” I said. “I specifically ask my Doc every year if it has to be fasting, and every year he says ‘Nah, no fasting needed’ ”. So why this year? Why didn’t he tell me? Does he secretly think my numbers are going to be severely different than years before? (Which have always been in the normal range even if I am NOT the picture of health. But…given the year I’ve had personally on top of Covid (and we’ve all had, on top of Covid) perhaps too many of the intended good habits were ignored. Maybe my Doc is trying to subtly tell me this is the year to be more aware of my future predictors.
So, I wait, as the service rep repeats all the questions, reviews all my personal data; insurance, etc., none of which has changed in 5 years or when I visited the portal last night!
While I’m waiting, I look around. I’m watching all the staff scamper to figure out their lunch order while I try to drown out the soap opera on the flatscreen in the background. And then it hit me. I realized why the service rep was so professional, so kind and so calm.
On the walls of her station are sayings she has taped up for patients like me to read while she’s ‘finishing up the paperwork’. And this is the one that hit me: It was a banner top to bottom of “Three Things”. It read: Three things in life you should never lose: Hope, Peace, Honesty. Three things in life that destroy a person: Anger, Pride, Unforgiveness. Three things in life that never come back: Time, Words, Opportunity. Three things in life most valuable: Love, Family and Friends and Kindness”.
In that moment, without her saying a thing, I was ministered to by her. Although clearly all of these things are biblically rooted and grounded, she didn’t have to say a word. God was speaking to me through her wall hangings.
Saints, I continually want to scoop you all up and give a specific deeply hopeful vision for when we can gather, worship, and minister together again. I can’t and it frustrates and drains me more than I care to admit.
What I can tell you is that even when we are completely pre-occupied by our life’s struggles, sufferings, and even mundane activities, God is still seeking us out to give us bread for the journey. That bread will sustain us if we let it until we can meet again in the promised land of milk and honey and lower cholesterol. Don’t give up the journey. Stay in community, even though it’s apart, especially as we break bread together.
Seeking a healthier future with you, in and because of Christ,