Today I had a diagnostic exam that I am supposed to have done every 6 months. I have a surplus of calcium in my body (eyes, skin, teeth, etc., so it is only fitting that I would have it other places too). For me, this 2 hour visit has always been an inconvenience. Just something that needs to be done “just in case”.
This morning I was in the waiting room happily sipping my complimentary coffee, listening to Andy Griffith playing from the mounted TV and checking work emails. In my mind I could think of many worse ways to spend a Thursday morning. During this moment of solitude, a lady walked in with a definite look of fear in her eyes. She sat near me so I struck up a conversation. It turns out this lady was a breast cancer survivor. It had been 13 years ago. But her annual exam had shown signs of new trouble. This could be nothing, she admitted, but I could see in her expression that a flood of memories from past trauma was washing over her. I grabbed her hand and said I would pray for her. As I let go, another lady walked in and seemed eager to talk. Her mother had passed away from breast cancer and this lady had some things show up in a routine exam that were a cause for further testing. Then, another lady joined our huddle. She had already had her diagnostic, had seen a technician and was directed to change and go back to the waiting room. She seemed optimistic that this was good news, but the rest of us glanced at each other nervously. We knew this meant something else. I was about to ask the ladies if I could pray for them when my name was called. My time in the waiting room would be over.
As expected, nothing had changed for me, and I was fine to go until my next imaging appointment. Normally I just do a small “I knew it would fine, but always thankful” kind of prayer. But, this morning was different. What for me was just an inconvenient happening, might just be a life changing moment for others. How do I selfishly now go about my day as normal?
Every day I go through life so absorbed with my own happenings. I pray that the Lord will open my eyes to opportunities to do more than just hold a hand, but to really help people through their journeys. I am so thankful for a job/ministry where I actually get paid to show people comfort or connect them to others who can. But even still, how much do I miss because my eyes are too focused on me and mine to look out on others?
God was gracious to me this morning, and I am thankful for the reminder to pay forward the comfort that He has given me over the years. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says it better than I ever could - “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Lord, please give me eyes to see, ears to hear, words to give and a big heart to listen.