The Waiting Room

It’s interesting to me how sometimes as you read a book the author sets a particular scene and the scene they write about is so timely. I remember this happening last Spring while reading Pete Wilson’s book Plan B.  As I sat reading a portion of his book where he was discussing the Israelite’s need to trust God by taking the first step into the ocean, I was, at that moment, sitting on the ocean’s edge and watching my son try to muster up enough courage to take that first step into the icy cold waters.

This week, I am on vacation visiting my husband’s family in Georgia. I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s book Traveling Mercies. I’ve never read it before and I’ve been enjoying it. I like her writing style. The way she weaves a story together impresses me.

The first order of business for my husband and I, the morning after arriving at my in-laws, was to take our son to the doctor. He woke up with an earache so painful that he was having a hard time holding back the tears.

We dressed and hurried down to the closest immediate care facility. We arrived at 8:00am. The sign on the door informed us that the office did not open until 8:30am. We took a seat in the hallway waiting room next to another man and his son.

I opened my book and noticed that the name of the chapter I was about to read was the same name as the title of the book, Traveling Mercies. A smile formed on my face as I read the second paragraph on the page.

“Our preacher Veronica said recently that this is life’s nature: that lives and hearts get broken those of the people we love, those of the people we’ll never meet. She said that the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward and that we who are more or less OK for now need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, you bring them juice and graham crackers. ”

“The world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward…”

I paused and thought about that statement. I love that the goal isn’t to leave the waiting room once we get help from the healer. The world is the waiting room and our job is to stay there to help and serve others who are sick, broken and in need of healing. As Christmas approaches, I am reminded again of how Jesus came into this world…this emergency ward.  He had one goal, to heal a broken and sick world.  He came to meet each of us right where we are sitting.

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