Saturday, February 16, 2013

Can I do it?

At work this week, we are talking about words. About choosing our words carefully, about hurt and pain and compassion. It reminds me of this: Inside Compassion: Edge States, Contemplative Interventions, Neuroscience.  We don't often talk about the collateral damage of the work we do. I liken it to a fire. The clients I work with are on fire and I must get very close, very close to them in order to put out the fire. In doing so I am burned and charred and crusty. Sometimes it is more comfortable to just leave that crust on to protect ourselves from the fire in the next room. I have to keep picking and peeling the crusts off so that I may get up in the morning and do it again. 

And there is great love there at work. I think of our two front desk receptionists, C and D and all the love they dole out all day long. They are on the front lines, watching it all, hearing it all, offering encouragement. Two weeks ago C scooted her chair into the hall and whispered to me: "There's a guy with a knife in the lobby, what's the number for security?" She called, I called. Thankfully the guy with the knife decided to put his knife away, get up and walk around the hospital for a bit while we waited the TWELVE minutes for security to arrive.

I am steeling myself for next week when I will try to talk a teenager into wanting to do what it takes to  live and try to teach a homeless woman how to be a mother. I will try to fill myself with kind words and helpfulness so that I will have something more to offer than the charred crusts left on me from last week.

I will fill my weekend with reading, cooking, cleaning, laundry, basketball, ping pong, monopoly, drawing, pretty patterned paper, and church, hoping to be refueled for the week ahead. Hoping to be kinder than I am.


  1. You continue to amaze me. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug. Love you.

  2. You are kind, kind, kind. And loving. And greatly loved