Recently, I drove a friend to the hospital for a medical appointment. She was counting on me for a ride home also, so I decided I’d just wait there. I had brought a good book, and I wore my walking shoes so I could take a walk outdoors. In the waiting room the TV was blaring a daytime show, and I soon left and moved outside.
My purpose was exercise, and I wandered quickly along the paths around the many buildings. I saw patients, some with IV poles attached, sitting in the sunshine with a friend or family member. Most looked pleased when I slowed down just enough to smile or say hello. Medical personnel also responded, even if initially a little startled, when I nodded a simple greeting.
When it became too hot to walk outside, I moved into the hospital and began walking the floors and halls. I discovered a beautiful rooftop healing garden that smiled at me with its beauty and fragrance. Proceding down one corridor, I heard a “hello, sister” from a woman I had never met. We introduced ourselves and chatted. In those very short minutes, she told me of times she had felt marginalized, that her son had committed suicide, and that she still trusted God’s love. When I promised to pray for her, her response was, “you’re a real sister”. Simple greetings, humble gestures, unexpected and surprising rewards—-they really do go together!