Sunday, September 11, 2016
The people of my week
1) Cancer patients:
My afternoons at work have been different the last two weeks and will be until some time in November. There is construction going on in the Emergency Department parking lot, which leaves only 5 or 6 handicapped spots left to park in, and three spaces for the Cancer Center. After my lunch, I have to stand near the entrance of the cancer center to tell people where to park for the Emergency Department and the Cancer Center.
Day after day, I see the same people going in for their treatments. Ladies with baseball caps or something else to cover their heads that have little or no hair. They always smile and thank me for showing them where to park, and sometimes I have to go find a wheelchair. As I see these brave people each day, I admire their courage and am thankful that I am healthy and don't have to deal with something so terrible as cancer.
2) The tract man:
Saturday, as I worked my morning position as Emergency Department greeter, a man that had just registered to be seen walked up to my desk and handed me a Gospel tract. I thanked him and laid it on my desk. He pointed to the cross tie tack I wear and asked me if I was a chaplain. I replied and told him no, that I was just a Christian.
I later found out he also gave the triage nurse a tract, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gave his nurse and doctor one also. I had to admire the guy. He has more guts than I do.
3) The PTSD guy
The same Saturday, we were short a guard so they had to pull me from my normal afternoon duties to do what the other guards do, and I got stuck doing a patient watch for over an hour and a half. A patient watch is basically babysitting a patient who won't stay in bed or wants to walk out and can't, and the nurses can't sit there and watch them.
Due to HIPPA laws, I can't say much, but this patient was a very young man who was in the reserves and was suffering from PTSD. Thankfully, he wasn't violent, but anxious, agitated, and was seeing things... and he didn't want to keep his blanket on or stay in bed. I lost track of how many times I had to take hold of his shoulders and gently but firmly push him back on the pillow..... or bed a couple of times that he actually got out. I and another coworker tried to keep up a steady conversation with him to keep his mind off of leaving. I'd hand him his water glass in between pushing him back onto his back.
It was a sad situation. Here was a young man who served his country, and now he was out of it. I had never been around someone dealing with that. I have seen people high on drugs, but this wasn't drugs. I have been praying for him ever since that he would get back to normal, and that he would find the God who can heal his mind. And I silently thanked him for his service as he lay there in that hospital bed.
4) The man praying at the pizza shop
Also on the same Saturday, two of my nieces came down after I got home, and my parents and I took them out to the pizza buffet here in our town. Just as we were sitting down, a man walked in with 4 kids and sat near us. He didn't look old enough to be the father of all of them, but possibly was there dad. He was wearing a sleeveless muscle shirt and had a large tattoo on his one bicep. The unshaven look, a ball cap, and blue jeans rounded out his ensemble. He smiled and said hi to us as he walked past our table.
I am not big on tattoos, and don't believe Christians should get them.... and I have reasons. No, I am not saying you can't be a Christian and get tattoos..... I just have reasons I think it is a bad idea for Christians to get them.
So we get our salad and soup since there is no pizza out yet, and this man and his kids also did. We bowed out heads and I prayed for our food. As I started to eat my salad, my eyes fell on the man and his kids. Just as I glanced their way, he removes his hat and said "OK, let's pray for our food."
Later as I walked past their table on my way back from the bathroom, I stopped at his table and told him I appreciated them praying for their food, and said I liked to see that. He thanked me and said "it's all about Jesus!"
Yeah, I know. I am guilty of pigeon holing people and making assumptions. To look at this guy, he sure didn't look like the type who would remove his hat and pray for his food in a restaurant..... but he did.
This is a different type of thing than I usually write, but these people all have made an impression on me in this last week. May I live my life in a way that I make a positive impression on those I interact with and who cross my path.