"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Great Equalizer

There are few things in life that put all people on the same level of play. There are pro athletes, good athletes and pathetic athletes (my category). Upper, middle and lower economic levels; people who wear Prada and those who wear Wal-Mart; there are bosses and worker bees; and on it goes. Very few situations can bring all these diverse groups into an equality of being. One of these situations is the hospital emergency room and waiting rooms.

My dad recently had a health emergency and was rushed to the emergency room of an area hospital. Our family spent several anxious hours in the ER waiting room, the surgical waiting room and then almost a week in the ICU waiting room. Now, Dad is in a rehabilitation center and on the slow road to recovery. However, one thing I noticed over the past week is that the hospital ER and ICU will put everyone on an equal basis. This dawned on me as I was sitting next to a very professional appearing lady in designer clothes, hair styled perfectly and subtle (yet very classic) jewelry. As for myself, I had on my normal uniform of ratty cargo shorts, flip-flops, totally out of place hair and a t-shirt for some 5K road race that I bought at the thrift store.

For those of you who have been through such, you know that after a period of time, you begin talking to people in the lobbies, waiting rooms, cafeterias and hallways of the hospital. These are people you have never seen or known before, but you have the commonality that a loved one is sick and in need of care by you and the healing professionals. You share stories and experiences, scriptures, prayers and after a few hours and days you realize how much alike we are and that we also have a concern for these other people. We have family and friends that we care about and worry when they are sick or hurt. At those times, we will reach out to others in our need for comfort and the human touch…. no matter how well you play sports, what label is on your clothes, how large your house and what you do for a living. My family has experienced this over the past week.

There is another Equalizer that we will all have to encounter someday. That equalizer is God. If you have read much of my work, you know that one of my big soapboxes is that of acceptance of all people regardless of any characteristics different than our own, either outward or inward. The God I know and attempt to serve is a God who sees ALL people as equal and He wants us to see them the same way. In the final days, it does not matter whether we have a huge house or a doublewide on a dirt road. Nor does it matter whether we go to church in a gorgeous state-of-the-art building or gather with believers in a home or storefront in the local strip mall. All that matters to God, the great Equalizer, is that we love Him, love each other and treat all peoples with respect. Friends, I urge you to not spend the days we have here on earth expending the energy to judge and avoid others who appear to be different than us. When it all comes down to the basics, we're all the same.

In closing, I would like to thank all health professionals from doctors and nurses, residents and interns, lab technicians, housekeeping and volunteers. Your smiles and the pats on the shoulder make a huge difference. You are not simply in a career; you have been called to service.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 10:51 PM, Blogger JOE B said...

I am so glad your dad is doing better. I did not get your email until a few days after the situation. Thanks for the phone call by the way.

On a lighter note, I am glad you added the little phrase after the comment about wearing the 5K tee shirt. You know the one, I bought it at a thrift store because if you had not added that then people would have thought you got it for running is some sort of marathon. And you and I both know that that would never be the case.

I miss going to the thrift store with you and Gabe as much as I miss going to the "V" with you guys. Do you remember the last time we went to the thrift store and Gabe found something he liked and was yelling at us from across the store about how wonderful the thing was he had found? And he yell it so loud he scared some old lady and made some other old lady laugh (along with us.) Boy those were the days. For those of you wondering I thing Gabe had found a shirt with ruffles on it. We used to do stupid things like that. It was very cheap entertainment.

Dude lets do something together real soon. And let's not say we are going to do it and then don't.
Joe b

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

My prayers are with your father and family, Jimmy.

Good post. I've definitely been there (in the ER with family and on the other side as a hospital nurse)...you're so right. We're all vulnerable in the very same ways. As I read your thoughtful post, I realized again, yes, and at the foot of the Cross, we're definitely all equal. All of us sinners, all of us in need of grace and healing. All of us in need of our loving Savior.

Hope you're doing well. I miss hearing from you! How's the book coming along?

At 4:52 PM, Blogger Helen said...

Hi from England, I found you through 'mountain mamas' blog, I love what you have written, I have just started work as a nursery nurse at my local hospital in the clinc, there I meet very anxious parents and children I try to be a witness to my Faith in Jesus and serve The Lord through my job, a challenge each day!

Hope your dad's ok and God Bless!

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Rose said...

I read your post about your dad not doing so well. Our pastor's wife's mom went through that with her mom only a couple of years ago. Thanks to God, she survived and is doing fairly well today.
It's nice to come across a fellow believer's site when you're just randomly skimming through!! I don't have the talent for writing but I really enjoy taking pictures which is what my blog is about so feel free to have a look.


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