Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Reality Check of the Heart

~Tracy Frederick

I sat all alone in the rehab hospital waiting room wallowing in my irritation. I had driven the hour and a half only to have the appointment postponed and now I had to wait another half hour for the set of tests. Didn’t these people realize I had places to go and things to do? I sat there calculating how to juggle the days obligations that awaited me. The rescheduling would mean more stress to my already stressful day. I pulled my Ladies Bible class book from my computer bag and began to read and underlining the points I needed to emphasize. I couldn’t concentrate. How was I going to reschedule for another day?  Then, slowly, but steadily the waiting room filled. An older lady lovingly pushed her husband’s wheelchair into the waiting room and smiled at me sweetly as she parked his chair and eased herself into the chair next to him. A younger woman, close to my age guiding her husband into the waiting area as he took one small step after another, whispering to him all the way:“You’re doing great, sweetheart.” Next came the mother following her teenage daughter who leaned heavily on her cane, unable to use her left side. She looked me and said sweetly, “hello!” I smiled back- a little, starting to feel embarrassed for my thoughts, but still a little irritated. The waiting room was filling up, the wheelchairs came and went. I was finally left all alone with my thoughts. My irritation had calmed a bit, but I was still considering the inconvenience of the morning. Then SHE walked in. She was a young woman, maybe about 25 or so. She smiled at me when she rounded the corner, but there was a deep sadness behind her eyes. Her little blonde girl of about 3 years old could hardly contain her enthusiasm as she tugged at her mom’s hand jumping up and down squealing with laughter and then she looked right at me… and smiled. The characteristics of Down ’s syndrome were obvious. The mother patiently checked her daughter in as little girl grabbed at the pencils, the Kleenex box, the..whatever was on the receptionists desk. All the while the mother patiently pushed the girls hand away. Then, of all places, they sat down across from me. The mother reached into her diaper bag and pulled out the package of well-worn flash cards. One by one she showed the cards to her daughter as I imaged she did every day, maybe even several times a day, asking: “what’s that?” The little girl starred at the card, then back at her mother’s warm smile a little confused, but wanting to please and tried to make some sounds. The mother praised the child for any sound that was near whatever picture was on the card- a “c” sound for “car,” an “r” sound for “rug.” I started to think about the life expectancy of this child, the uncertainty this mother faced every morning, the heartache she felt as she looked into her precious daughter’s face each day, the amazing hope she must have to work so diligently with her daughter to make a sound. I took another look at the clock on the wall and couldn’t remember what was so pressing. I bowed my head in shame….lesson learned. I hope you realize the wonderful blessings our Lord has offered us this day, and each day- a beautiful child, medical care, a spouse to love.....and eternal riches in a home built by our Savior for those who obey. My mind turned to: "How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you” Psalm 31:19.

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