Friday, February 27, 2009

do it again.

The halls of Unit 4 reverberate with Mr. Huldorn’s deep tenor voice. Because it is 6pm…and each night at 6pm just like clockwork, he walks up & down the corridor of Unit 4. Hollering. He yells about his wet pants & his recent trip to the bathroom. Mr. Huldorn is fixated on his bowel movements—the very thought of defecation invokes fear & anxiety in him every single day.

Mrs. Smith sits by her 6th floor window each day. Waiting. She is watching for the police to come rescue her—the police who never come. Mrs. Smith has been at the psychiatric hospital for six years…and each day she has sat in her wheelchair fixated on the hospital entrance.

And old Mr. Tracy loves his Johnny Cash. He dances for hours each day in his room to the same Johnny Cash CD. Listening…until the nurses shut his radio off at 10pm each night. Inevitably he throws a fit, begins to cry, and finally lulls himself to sleep by repeating the song lyrics to his gracious roommate.

I see Mr. Huldorn each day on rounds. And I get frustrated with him. My own feeble mind doesn’t understand his fixation…his fears…or his outbursts. My own "refined" mind doesn’t understand why he doesn’t just POOP for gosh sakes and why he wets himself each time he tries to urinate.

I see Mrs. Smith at her window when I walk by her seemingly empty room. Her bags are always packed in anticipation…because for her today…TODAY is the day they will come. Yesterday was the day too…& tomorrow will be also.

And my frustration level skyrockets when Mr. Tracy wanders the hall hollering his favorite lyrics for everyone to hear. My intolerance reached it’s peak when he noticed “West Virginia” on my white coat & moved his saliva-spewing mouth inches from mine and said to me with eyes wide, “Johnny Cash…Johnny Cash…West Virginia...West Virginia…he is from there…he is from there…Johnny Cash…West Virginia…”. Over and over and over again until I had to step back & wipe his saliva off my face.

My compassion is lacking.

Perhaps because society tells me that I’m “better” than they are. Perhaps because my busy schedule dictates that I don’t have time to appease Mr. Tracy’s obsessions or listen to Mr. Huldorn’s hollers about his wet pants. I want them to learn—in fact, my calloused mind insists on it—but I seldom take the time to assess whether or not they are teachable. The monotony, the mind-numbing repetition that fills their days wears me down.

And then I remember that the sun rose this morning. Just like it did yesterday. Just like it will, predictably, tomorrow. The Earth, in the same place around the sun as it was last year—except behind it lies a billion circular journeys & in front of it the same. My heart beating—ONE purpose over and over and over again. My lungs breathing, exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen—over and over and over again.

I would think my heart might grow weary from beating so hard, so fast, for so long; but God inserted extra parts in my heart muscle so it doesn’t tire or grow weary. And I would think that the Earth would want to take a new journey just a bit different than the last or that God would tire of whispering “let there be Light” to the sun each morning; but the Earth stays its course & God never tires.

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; 'for we have sinned and grown old, and our father is younger than we.’” –G.K. Chesterton

Perhaps it is possible that God whispers each morning to the Sun, “Do it again, rise…Let there be Light for my children to enjoy”.

Perhaps it is possible that God whispers to Mr. Huldorn, “Do it again, holler…let your neediness grow the character of compassion in your doctors & nurses.”

Perhaps it is possible that God whispers to Mrs. Smith, “Do it again, wait…someday I will come rescue you.”

And perhaps it is possible that God whispers to Mr. Tracy, “Do it again, LISTEN…my voice can be heard in all the Earth’s sounds.”

And perhaps it is possible that God whispers to my heart, “Do it again, CARE…I’m growing your character with abounding GRACE.”

1 comment:

Jodie said...

You amaze me. That is all.

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