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Getting married, having children, the joy of the whole earth

by davesandel on July 2nd, 2021

Friday, July 2, 2021                             (today’s lectionary)

Getting married, having children, the joy of the whole earth

As we continue getting to know the medical heroes at Ascension Seton Medical Center, we realize that occasionally we’ve been here longer than they have. One of our nurse practitioners, Kelly, started three weeks ago, and we’ve been there four! For a few more days, this will continue to be our community. Yesterday Margaret had conversational interviews with two helpers who are expecting children in July, and two others who are engaged and have dates for their weddings. Over and over on the way in and out of the hospital I see men and women I can greet by name.

Rebekah alighted from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?” When he told her that was his master Isaac, Rebekah covered herself with her veil.

Another nurse we met a couple of weeks ago re-entered our life today. A traveling nurse from Indiana, she saw us (and me with my Cubs hat) and sang the radio jingle, “Hey, hey, whatdaya say? The Cubs are gonna win today.” (That would be a nice change.) She is not engaged and resists dating, because she isn’t interested in sex before she gets to know her date, and she has had too many guys expect too much too fast.

Isaac took Rebekah into his tent. He married her, and thus she became his wife. He loved her.

Although most schools, some families and a few churches take pains to avoid mindless moral lessons in the lives of children, I’m grateful that the folks working with us have absorbed moral lessons from somewhere that guide them in how they care for us, and all their patients. Where did their training come from? How deep does it go? I don’t know, but what I do know is that right now, in the lives of the young nurses, doctors, therapists, food ambassadors and maintenance folks who are helping us and heroing us, our own modeling matters. How we respond and act toward them in the midst of our own suffering is part of their moral education. And how they serve and minister to us is certainly part of ours.

Blessed are they who observe what is right, who do always what is just. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

It’s no wonder we remember them and they remember us. I don’t know about other patients, but in our case Margaret has constantly reached out to take our nurses and doctors personally. Where are you from? How long have you worked here? What do you think of this hospital as a place to work? Is your family nearby? Show us pictures of your kids, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend.

Rejoice in the joy of your people.

Let us be happy with you, and with those you love. We thank God every day that almost everyone responds, sharing part of their lives with us. Even in this house of pain, we feel blessed and alive. Margaret slipped off her pillows last night, it took four helpers to get her up, and of course she was embarrassed, but she wasn’t hurt. And she knew that everyone who helped her off the floor loved her as only servants can love. Not with words, but with hands and feet. Pray for all us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Hail Jesus, you’re my king!

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, along with many other tax collectors and his disciples, he answered criticisms from the Pharisees. “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.”

We entered the hospital system on Friday night, and our fourth Friday night comes up tonight. Margaret’s move a few miles north to Encompass Rehab won’t happen until Tuesday because of the weekend holiday. Perhaps we are experiencing Kierkegaard’s “infinite resignation,” but that doesn’t seem so bad. Margaret’s room is just a few feet from a building that overlooks downtown Austin. The city’s fireworks will be very visible from that window. Oh, say can you see! Margaret LOVES fireworks; I hope she will get to appreciate them from that window.

Jesus spoke again to the Pharisees, “Go and learn the meaning of these words from the psalms: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Because I did not come to call the righteous, but to call sinners!”

We are all of us sinners, that’s for sure. When Jesus clarified his mission, he welcomed us all into his hospital for healing, not just on the fourth of July, but in all times and all places. The thankfulness we feel for that gets deeper every day.

(Genesis 23, Psalm 106, Matthew 9 and 11)

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