I spent the better part of the day at the hospital with Al and Gail. The hospital – especially the oncology ward — is a place we all would rather not be, but you certainly meet some truly good souls there. The woman in her eighties, for instance who came by as a “volunteer patient advocate” handing out shawls made by other volunteers. In the course of the conversation she mentioned that years earlier she had undergone a mastectomy, and that she had lost her husband to cancer. But here she was giving three days a week of her time to provide some comfort to people dealing with cancer, using the empathy and knowledge she had accumulated to help others. There was the volunteer who came by handing out Daily Records, who offered a “joke of the day” as well. (Al gave her one as well to pass on as she went about her rounds.) There were the competent and compassionate young nurses and the therapeutic touch specialist who provided care for caregivers as well as patients. The oncologist gave out complex information regarding the dire diagnosis while at the same time conveying hope, providing a hug when needed as well.
The light shines brightly in the darkness. There are signs of God’s grace if you watch for them, and more often than not they come in the form of simple human kindness.
Dear God, thank you for all those persons we meet in the course of our lives who make the rough paths gentler. Give us strength to be such signs for others as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.