Monday, August 24, 2009

A Thing

Today marked one-third of the way through radiation! 33% or .33333 or 1/3. No matter how it's written it's a milestone on the journey.

When I went in for the treatment today, it was really different. Usually, Dennis, Jared and Sadira are quite talkative. We talk about their children, my grandchildren, music, whatever comes along. But today, they were unusually quiet. I think they had been talking about an upcoming inspection. Not sure, but they immediately got started with the treatment, without the usual chit chat. They adjusted some of my markings, positioned the machine, called out several numbers to each other, looked at the computer screen and then left the room to start the beams. After the first quadrant was finished they came in and I felt the table rotate, heard some more numbers called out, saw the computer screen again and listened for the noise of the beams. I remember thinking. I feel like "a thing". Not a person on the table, but another piece of equipment. Another "thing."

But no sooner than the thought crossed my mind and the machine rotated and I saw the beautiful cross above me. And immediately I thought. I am not a "thing". I am a child of God! I don't need idle conversation. I don't need a fancy house, a career title, a lot of money. I don't even need good health. All that I truly need is in front of my eyes, etched in the ceiling. No, I am not a "thing." I am secure in knowing that I have Jesus.

But as I lay on the table looking at that cross I wondered. What about all those whose paths I cross, who feel as if they are just "a thing"? What about the girl at the cash register this morning, who couldn't work fast enough to please the man in line? What about the homeless man on the corner that I don't make eye contact with? What about the 17 year old girl waiting at the bus stop with 2 young babies? What about the old lady, waiting in the wheelchair, totally alone?

Can simple, kind words make them feel as though they matter? As though they are not just "a thing" in this world? Can eye contact and a smile be the encouragement they need to get through another day? When I say "how are you?" can I take a moment to listen? Can I be the one person in their day who offers hope when they feel hopeless? Can I be Jesus to them?

Lord, you have given me so much. I see that in my family, my friends, my job, my life. Yet, I fail to see a hurting world all around me. Help me take a moment, Father, to be your eyes, your hands, and your voice to someone in need. Amen