The view at clinics is crowded. I see the people there that I never saw before when my life was mostly in another world. So many of these people are also on walkers. They move slowly. Like me, now.
I notice that most hospital rooms seem occupied, too. They’re full of more people that I don’t see anywhere else. I have found it easy to forget them and their stories until now. Now, when I sit down at the dining room table to let Melanie feed me, we have a sheet of paper that has filled up with names of other people who are sick, suffering, broken. Most of them are friends we’ve known from days that were better for all of us. Now our common bond has changed but it has lifted them up higher in our hearts and prayers.
Now when I watch TV and the images full of people walking normally, I feel like I’m looking through a window at a world I no longer inhabit. It is a world full of activities that do not include me.
I have a new appreciation for the time Jesus spoke kindly to those who had visited him while he was sick, hungry, or in prison. I’ve done some visiting like that, but not a lot. I’ve spent a weekend helping with a prison Walk to Emmaus program. I’ve visited hospitals and home bound sick people. But there were plenty of other things I found time to do, too.
The people he thanked didn’t know what Jesus was talking about. But he was grateful to them. I’ve gotten to know some of those people myself, now. I’m grateful to them, too. I don’t deserve their attention. But the ones who come back don’t seem to be doing it because it’s me, so much. And that’s probably why they’ve come back.
Thanks for sharing your friends with me, Jesus.