Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hospital(ity)



I looked up and there she was, a vision coming down the sterile hallway in her crisp lab coat. I had averted my troubled gaze from my husband's jaundiced brow to see whose staccato footsteps were echoing off the tile floor. Her walk was confident, and that's how she first ministered to me. That and the empathetic tilt of her head. Her left-breast monogram said RN; Her grim smile said survivor and friend.

She looked all over the hospital for us because we were in X-Ray getting a needle-guided biopsy. "This not knowing is the hardest part," Kay said.  She knew this because her husband had just finished treatment for his own lymphoma. Her hug, though there were countless preceeding others, was my first glimpse from our trial to the other side of it.

They had gotten through it; Maybe we could, too.

Last Friday and eleven years later, Mike and I walked into another hospital and took the elevator to the oncology floor. We prayed and held their hands and kissed their babies. We got to be the confident walk and head tilted just so for Brian and Charity, their bridge to the other side of their fear and waiting and wondering.

::

There it was, all Facebook official: a prayer request from my nephew who was just laid off. My thoughts went immediately to his wife Anabelle, because we've been there too--twice, in fact. I tap out the text message praying I am the living, breathing proof that they, too, can get through this.

Sometimes, real hospitality comes form having been in the hospital.

Sometimes, being in the hospital is easier when you know future hospital(ity) will be its offspring.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).


Rick sent me this scripture when my brother Jeff died. I shared it with Rick's brother Jeff when Rick died. It was my comfort when Mike's cancer raged unchecked, so I shared it with Charity this weekend. And I pray I am living it for Anabelle and Victor.

The best kind of comfort is born in affliction. It may be the consolation prize from your trial, but it is a prize.

#TellHisStory with Jennifer.

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