Sunday, November 27, 2011

“When you meet someone,” he says, "you never know if you will see that person again. So I try my best to make an effect on that person. I try my best to make an effect for the Kingdom."

His accent made these words music and I know when he says them, he is in earnest. His dark skin glows and I realize this is the contagious joy that he carries with him: this moment may be the only chance.

Those of us who work in an ER are acutely aware of this reality.

We have such a small window of opportunity in which to figure out what's truly going on... this may be the time a child is ready to disclose abuse; the time a tired-on-the-edge single mom will reach out for help before abusing her baby; the time and place a homeless teenager can say he's afraid he's going to kill himself... and we take that responsibility seriously.

I can't help but wonder how many of us carry that sense of urgency home with us.

Do we also realize when we hug a friend or family member goodbye after a visit that we may never see them again?
That our angry words may be the last things a teenager hears as they drive away - and into an accident?
That our expressed frustration, impatience and resentment at the elderly going SOO slowly in the grocery store may be the only human interaction they've had in days?

I wonder how the world would be different if we all truly carried the knowledge with us that NOW is the only time we have.

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