My mother has worked at the same hospital for over forty years now. During one of my periods of looking for work she told me that the hospital had an opening for a registration clerk. This consisted of getting patient information, collecting payments for service, verification of insurances, and all that fun stuff. The only catch was that the position was in the emergency room working second shift. I applied, interviewed, and got the job. Overall, I spent two years working there and they were years I will never forget.
During my training, the supervisor told me that I’d always remember my first “code.” If you aren’t up on medical lingo, that is the phrase for any patient who had died or was in the process of it. As registration staff, we were the first people the family members would come in contact with. The challenge was keeping a straight face, staying calm and in control while you had emotional family crying and yelling for their loved ones they would never see alive again. It was a job with good times (getting to see babies as they were delivered in the emergency room) to sad times and crazy experiences (our hospital had a psych ward and we would often get those individuals going through mental struggles). The job taught me one important thing: We are never far from the other side.
I would drive home, always after midnight, and think about the people: the ones going home without their husbands, wives, grandparents, or children. It was an odd feeling, being that close to death. It taught me to value what I had. There were many mornings I would hug my sons and feel so blessed that we were intact as a family. As believers we must keep in mind that we are never far from the other side. We walk each day with our creator. We live according to his guidance as best we can. We push through troubles. We celebrate victories and process defeats.
The hard part is not getting caught up in the routine. As a guy, I tend to pull away and keep things inside my shell when I get stressed or angry. My wife has had many conversations with me about this and it is something I work on every day. Our lives are full of wisps of eternity, embers of heaven that take form in the laughter of children, good music, strong emotions, and eternal love. Don’t get caught in the routine. Keep a strong grasp on the beauty of creation.
One of the most radical things we can do is to serve. Serving breaks the mold and shatters the expectations of the world. Jesus called us to serve. It is one of the reasons I stand on pay what you can for my writing services. I feel like he has allowed me to write so I can serve those who need the words. Validation comes through engagement and appreciation not profit and greed. I still believe this world can be changed and it will happen one servant at a time.