My place of work is a hospital and my job title is medical social worker. No, I’m not here to take your children. My main duties include assisting the patient with a safe discharge by arranging needed services, addressing social needs, and combating bureaucratic obstacles. All in a day’s work. I absolutely love my job, but with it comes the responsibility of jumping into a mess, a trauma, or just pure suffering. I see the stories of individuals unfold everyday, and I feel blessed to make a brief appearance, hoping to lighten their load. But like always, whenever I make the effort to help another, I always walk a way with a full heart from what they gave me.
I am particularly fond of one elderly couple I see every few months on my hospital floor. The husband is always sitting outside his wife’s door with a newspaper in hand, never sitting inside the room but always present. Unfortunately, his wife no longer knows who he is and his presence is unwanted. She screams out for help in her unending confusion, but when he answers her call, she lashes out in anger fearing this unknown man. He returns to his chair and waits for the unlikely opportunity to be accepted by the one he will never leave. As I approach him to complete my assessment, he responds with a friendly smile to my sympathetic gaze. It lifts my Spirit to see him greet an outsider (me) with kindness as I peer into his world of tumultuous love and rejection. He ends our conversation by telling me, “I’ll be here if you need me!” As he reopens his newspaper, I have no doubt in my mind that he will be.
This marriage painfully reminds me of my relationship with The Lord. Although the wife, through no fault of her own, cannot recognize the man who sits and waits to love and help her, I, on the other hand, am choosing blindness over pursuit of my savior. When I stray and follow the world, become enmeshed in vanity, and lose all sight of my call to love, I am like the confused woman in the hospital room. My Lord is waiting at the door and often enters to pull me out of my stupor, yet I lash out and act like I have never known him. Yet I do know him, he saved me, he has seen me in most intimate and humble moments. He knows me better than anyone, and I, once upon a time, promised him my everything. Despite my rejection, he waits, Despite my harsh words and my ugly sin, he holds out for me, knowing I’ll return.
One day this woman will remember her husband and see his face with complete clarity in heaven, which gives me and her husband indescribable hope.
I hope one day I can consistently set my eyes on my maker. He will always be there waiting to receive me right outside my door, ready to pour out love and forgiveness I so desperately need and undoubtedly do not deserve. I am so thankful that the Lord showers grace on the needy, the sick and the undeserving. In the end we will all see and understand, but until then I hope to live in grace and sight provided by my patient savior.