Dear Wellspring Ohana and Friends,
“Are you ready for an adventure?” Mr. Nick said last week Saturday, as our 6-year old son, Andre, laid carefully on the paper-covered plastic hospital mattress. “Just close your eyes and the x-ray machine is going to zoom through the air like a giant airplane robot! Don’t worry, it’s not going to touch you, just take pictures of your legs and tummy.” Andre giggled. The giant automated X-ray machine gently navigated through the air and came to rest right above Andre’s hips, taking several photos of the joints where his doctor was afraid there was something wrong, specifically, joint deterioration that could require surgery.
The possibility that something is wrong with your child’s health is terrifying. I still remember from 2010—9 years ago now—the feel of the hospital room we were sitting in when the doctor came to tell us that our baby, Vincent, had cancer. I remember how after a few months passed, we sat in a tiny windowless area by the operating room and were told his tumors had spread, despite receiving the best treatment possible. I remember the feel of the hospital pillow I was leaning against, holding Vincent’s swollen body, when I was informed there was nothing more they could do for us. That was the day we brought Vincent home from the hospital for the last time.
So last Saturday when I was sitting in a waiting area in Queens, waiting for our current youngest son, Andre’s x-ray appointment, I felt almost frozen with fear. It was hard to breathe. A giant weight was squashing my lungs. In that moment, Mr. Nick, the x-ray technician, was a God-send. He kept Andre laughing, even made me smile as he joked around. He engaged with joy and light-hearted silliness with this scared mamma and her little boy. Mr. Nick didn’t have to do that. He probably sees plenty of sadness and heartache in his line of work. But he chose to interact with us in a way that brought life into the room.
Later that afternoon, after the X-rays had been taken, a family friend offered to take our boys fishing. As soon as they were out of the car, I let out big huge sobs, cried so hard my nose bled. And then I felt better. Much better.
Every day you and I engage with others, whether it be people in our workplace, friends, students, family members, neighbors, spouses, children. Much of the time we don’t know their history or the griefs or burdens they are carrying. Last Saturday I needed the care of a stranger as well as of a friend. Both didn’t realize the full blessing they were to me.
As we move into this next part of our sermon series discussing how to engage with people “the Jesus way,” be open to let God challenge you to new heights regarding how you approach and connect with others. Let’s make our interactions count. You never know when even something simple as making a child laugh might incarnate Jesus’ presence to those around you.
With you and for you,