When it comes to doctors I am typically the “wait and see” type of patient. If I have an issue, I wait and see believing that it will eventually go away. But on those rare occasions when I do have a legitimate physical problem I have discovered that I do not like the waiting rooms (where sick people live, breathe and cough all over you), the clipboards with my address and phone update requests (yes, it’s still the same), the medical smells (especially the smells), the questions (which have become more and more intrusive), the waiting a second time in the examination room (sometimes longer than the first wait), the second set of questions when the Dr. actually shows up (Really, didn’t we already cover this?). I don’t even like the phone process that you have to go through to secure an appointment (I am people, you are people, CAN I TALK TO A PERSON?). The whole thing is just…well, unnerving, expensive and upon leaving I take one big breath (as if I have been holding it for the last 63 minutes) in the parking lot while running to my car.
Enter my wife, Mary, my favorite nurse who works at the very same doctor’s office. She faces all of the above with far worse patients than her husband. She faces those whose frustrations have gotten the best of them; those who refuse to be weighed for obvious reasons, those who are dying a slow death; those who really do not need to see a doctor, but their health care pays 100% for the sniffles; those who do not bathe regularly and those who have screaming, out of control kids. It is her goal to be Jesus to her patients, to share compassion with those who are hurting, each and every one of them. Her stories of serving them in a loving and selfless way are a challenge to my faith. And, every once in a long while, just maybe, one of those patients will smile back at her, thank her or say some life-giving words like, “I wish you were my nurse every time I came to the doctor.” When I am sick, I am thinking about myself and not the one caring for me. It is these times and it is these places that provide a test of my own heart, a check on my attitude. I need to get over myself and remember that I represent Jesus as well.