Sunday, June 14, 2009

A lesson learned

I am sick...very sick. It started last Tuesday with a scratchy throat, then a sore throat, then an extremely sore throat that hurt so bad I couldn't eat anything. I have lost 4 pounds in the last week. It wasn't getting any better, so I went to a walk-in clinic this morning. (Roger was going to take the kids to church this morning, except Ian, but Franklin began vomiting. He has been fine the rest of the day.) I was at the clinic at 8:30, but found out it didn't open until nine. There were already 5 men standing at the front door smoking, so I waited in the van. Then, more and more cars drove up, so I decided to get in line. When they opened the doors at 9:00 there were 17 people waiting to get in. Crazy!
Hang in there with me...the "lesson learned" is coming...
I get to the receptionist who is not very friendly, and some would say is not even nice. I was kind and polite, which most people are probably not, since they are waiting in a long line and know that it may be a few hours before they see the doctor. I listened and watched her as she handled each patient that walked in the door. She wasn't nice to anyone...sadly.
(on a side note: I have a bacterial infection in the glands in my neck, and a viral infection in my throat that has caused several ulcers to form on my throat, and in the back of my mouth and tongue. My throat hurts so bad that I still can't eat anything other than jello. It's miserable!)
On with the story:
Next, I went to CVS to get a prescription filled. The ladies at the pharmacy were pleasant, but business-like. I sat next to the pharmacy waiting for my prescription to be filled when an older black gentleman came by in his motorized wheel chair. He didn't look like a man of means. He had on dirty, tattered pants and an old shirt. He wasn't wearing shoes, but had on white socks. His feet looked large. He hadn't shaved in days, nor had he probably showered. BUT, this is where the lesson comes in...As he drove by me to go to the bathroom and looked me straight in the eyes, and with pure kindness, love, and compassion he said, "I sure hope you feel better soon," and then he drove by. This was a person that I probably would not have looked at twice, but he didn't look above or below me...he looked into my soul and I could feel his compassion. He was me. He didn't ignore me because I was young, or a woman, or sick, or white...
I was just another person he felt compassion for. Wow! That really made me think. How often do I treat people better because they look like they have more money, or they are pretty, or smell good, or seem really nice...not just because they are a person.
Then I remembered this story...(I know this is long, but keep reading because it may be a "lesson learned" for you, too!)
At a community college there was a really long line for admissions. Students were getting frustrated at how long they had been standing there...over an hour. A gentleman that worked for the college saw how long the line was and wondered why it was moving so slowly and how long it was taking to get through, so he decided to get in line and wait with the students. After an hour of waiting he finally got to the front of the line where the young receptionist was speaking on her cell phone while doing her job. When she looked up and saw who was next she was completely embarrassed, got off the phone immediately, and said, "Oh, Dr. King (President of the college) I'm so sorry. I didn't know you were waiting in line. What can I do for you?" He smiled and said, "You can treat everyone as though they are Dr. King." He calmly walked away.
Do you get that? The Bible tells us that we are to treat everyone as better than ourselves. Oh, how I miserably fail at times. I was reminded this morning. Lesson learned...again.


Deborah said...

That's a reminder we all need once in a while to keep our fallen selves in line. I learned a lot of that working at the nursing home. Also when I worked at the pretzel store in the mall 10 years ago--I learned that people dont' even look you in the eye and talk to you when you work at a place like that. You are not really seen, just a means for them to get their food. Since then I have learned to look those serving me in the eye and talk with them when time allows. And after the nursing home experience...we all look for those who need help, a friendly smile, or a hug.

Jennifer said...

Your right! Thank you for your post:) Hope you feel better soon!

Pegsy said...

Thank you so much for sharing those stories. What a needed reminder for all of us. I've been praying for you and I hope your body is healing quickly.