*Arriving home some time last year after a very challenging run for work I felt compelled to write. The story that follows is one that may surprise you. It did me.*
Laying in bed, after a hard few nights on-call, I prayed that the nights and days left on call would be quiet. Then “the call” came and I knew by the name the answering service gave me that this was not going to be good. As I dialed the number I was hoping against hope I was wrong but as it turned out I was sadly mistaken. Man I hate it when I am right. Funny God, Very Funny.
Heading out tired and in a foul mood I fight, and lose, a running battle with angry thoughts,bitter and vile rebukes directed at this man. Why one may ask? I knew he caused the problem. He has, lets say, a history of self inflected issues. This knowledge, and the fact he had me leaving shortly before midnight, did not make me happy. I am very much into me being happy.
After arriving at the house I inspected the machine in question and as I said before I hate being right. It was a self-inflicted problem that, though not my fault, became my problem. It turned out he had run into his home hospital bed with his power chair. The bed in turn smashed into the concentrator he uses rendering it null and void.
By the way I forgot to mention the house was, well nasty inside. I have really no words to describe the filth I found inside this house but I hope I can find the words to convey what I learned, and was shown, despite it. How filthy it was turns out to be somewhat if not completely irrelevant. Life is sometimes funny like that.
Actually it was a very humbling encounter because I was looking for anything to justify my anger. Instead I looked in this man’s eyes and found a person behind the harsh reality and despair. I saw humanity. And I found something lingering inside me, something very unexpected in my self-righteousness, and that was empathy. Yes I found inside that house and myself empathy for another persons blight.
I replaced his concentrator and after loading my van with the remains of his machine went back to finish the paper work. We talked for a few minutes about his past and the present. Against the back drop of the canvas that is our lives those few moments, though brief and narrow at most, changed my future. Funny God, Very Funny.
Really nicely written. I understand your anger, I understand your compassion. You are a good man Jagged.
I am fully human for sure but I thank God for great parents and hard times.My parents simply let me learn, or not as is often the case, and proved a safe spot to land when it all went to peices.
I remain aware of your mother’s illness and I hurt for you my friend.
It’s a good article, John. It reminds me of the time my girl friend’s daughter was in an auto accident and they didn’t think she would live. My girl friend went to see her in the hospital and came away horrified at what had happened to her and she called me and asked me how she’d get through it, what to hope for? I told her to just look into Amie’s eyes… and you’ll know. It’s so true. We see into each other’s soul and we only see the mirror of our own plight.
By the way I’m thrilled to be able to post on your blog via Twitter! Many thanks.
Thanks for the visit Merrill and congratulations on being on twitter. I may do that next but right now it just one step at a time and taking it day by day sort of journey.
Looking beyond the mess and seeing the humanity isn’t an easy thing to do, but it is rewarding for both. Yay, you.
I am amazed not at me but at the moments where clarity and grace show up and humble me as they should. Thanks for stopping. Peace.