My sister Amy is one tough cookie, and one of these days I will share some of her story.
We are spending the day together, but we aren't spending it shopping or something else that is fun. She is having a medical procedure, and I came along to drive and offer moral support.
I spent a lot of time in a small and very crowded waiting room this morning observing those around me, and I am thankful for the lesson God taught me there.
Have you ever noticed that when people are under stress, they are more friendly, more eager to share, more prone to tell life stories?
As patients and their caregivers entered the waiting area this morning, they were quiet and nervous. But, as coffee was drunk and papers and magazines were shared, friendships began to develop-even if they were only going to last for an hour or two.
Two former marines shared stories of their time in 'Nam.
Fishermen talked about the big one they caught and the one that got away.
War stories of a different kind-of chemo and radiation-were also discussed and sympathies expressed.
I heard about divorces and businesses lost.
One couple shared they were soon going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, and I also heard about the Golden anniversary trip to New Zealand and Australia taken by another.
This same couple is headed to Costa Rica soon and the Mister is looking forward to doing the Zipline through the rain forest!
Can you believe I learned all that from the conversations of people who had never seen one another before and more than likely will never see each other again?
It made me wish that we would pull the sheets off our lives more often and more easily.
That we would let others get a glimpse of our hearts more readily.
That we would recognize the humanity in those around us and that we are all the same when push comes to shove and the specter of possibly losing our health is a possibility.
We could bypass the false fronts, the carefully constructed faux smiles and impressions that anyone has it easy. It would almost be like everyone was wearing a school uniform that allowed others not to judge by the outward appearance but to go right to the good stuff-the heart.
That is what I want. I want to really KNOW people. So I guess I need to be more vulnerable myself AND I need to take the time to listen to those around me.
And I want to go to Costa Rica for my 53rd wedding anniversary and ride a Zipline through the rain forest!