Anything new and exciting happen today?
When I was a chaplain intern at Mercer Medical Center, my supervisor asked me to do something I’d never have done on my own. Take the least interesting visit you had with a patient or staff member today, write it up, and bring it in for discussion tomorrow. So I did. It was a quick exchange with a newly discharged patient while she waited for the elevator. I said good-bye, wished her continued health, and waved as the elevator doors closed. Her stay in the hospital had been short, her reason for being there temporary and non-life threatening. I doubt I’d spent more than ten minutes with her and we had no serious or life-changing discussions.
As I wrote up our elevator conversation word-for-word, I remembered how wonderful it was to see someone leave the hospital to take up the blessing of everyday life. No cancer, no debilitating injuries: she was given back to the holiness and grace of her ongoing life. Of all the people walking through the hospital halls, I was the one got to say good-bye and wish her well. I got to see the happy ending, the good outcome everyone who enters the hospital prays for. If that isn’t an amazing encounter, what is?
My new and exciting thing that day: there’s no such thing as a boring encounter or day. Perhaps it’s just my lack of expecting the amazing that blinds me to the wonder of it all.