We have all done it. In a hurry, we race out of our neighborhood faster than we should, until the neighbor who use to be a crossing guard shoots us an unforgiving look while giving us the universal sign to slow down. It is not in this annoying, judgmental way that I am saying to you--to us all--slow down.
Rather, it is like a devoted wife who sees you are missing half of your life. She realizes that your drive to serve someone else’s vision stops you from experiencing the quieter, more substantial moments of life, so out of love she makes a suggestion. “Slow down, the kids are growing so fast, and you are missing it.” Filled with love for you, she is telling you it is okay to give up worldly things; she only wants to see you happy. She is asking you to re-evaluate your definition of success.
There are moments in life that we miss if we have no patience or if we feel they are too insignificant to matter. And we continue to careen down the road at faster speeds at our own peril and at great cost. The moments we miss are the connections that prove that there is an almighty, loving God, who wants us to be all He made us to be. But the Lord starts with small things. I was reminded again this morning about that fact.
I have visited Longwood Health and Rehabilitation for the past year and half. For almost that entire time, I have encountered a woman who, sitting in silence, just stares out into space. I was visiting her roommate when I first met her. I would speak to her, but nothing seemed to register.
Knowing that she could not acknowledge my remarks, I began praying for her, asking God to let her know that she was loved and asking that those of us who served her would do so with dignity and respect. At times, I felt I might see a flicker of response or acknowledgement but not enough to be sure that I had not imagined it. Not until this morning, that is.
As I entered the activity room, she was seated on the edge of the room with many other patients. I moved from person to person, speaking with them, showing pictures and simply sharing life. I noticed she seemed more alert today. In the past, I might touch her arm as I prayed but she always remained still. Rarely, if ever, did she make any real movement, but this morning was different. As I began to pray for her, she grabbed my hand. She grabbed it and would not let go. Her eyes followed me. She engaged like never before. She did not speak, she did not get up and walk. She squeezed my hand. Like a patient previously comatose, she made the smallest, yet hugest gesture.
Was today successful? I guess it depends on your perception, but I would have to say most definitely, YES!