Today's Lectionary Text
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
Wham! Bam! Ouch! Plop! What happened? I was face-down on the pavement, not far off the curb, at a busy Wichita intersection. I hurt all over. People were gathering around me. I put a fist into my mouth and heaved sobs. What had happened? I hurt so bad!
Faces ringed my vision as I half-turned and looked up. A white car was stopped right at my head. A man looked down at me from right next to the car. A young adult man stood ready to help on the curb at the Kwik Shop; a middle-aged woman was apologizing as she felt all over me, with what seemed like practiced hands. In the distance, and coming nearer, a siren sounded.
Soon firefighters joined the circle. Gently they lifted me and held me up. When an ambulance pulled up, I was loaded onto a wheeled stretcher and put into it. Two EMTs asked where I wanted to go, put in an IV and injected a painkiller, saying the ride would be bumpy.
When we arrived at Wesley Medical Center I was rolled in and placed on a bed in the trauma section of the ER. A kind physician’s assistant introduced herself to me. Nurses surrounded me. I was placed on a metal tray, scanned, seen by another health care professional, interviewed by a police officer, observed. Over a three-hour time span I was treated well, professionally, kindly. My husband was informed often, even though he could not be present with me. Options were explained well. God’s love and compassion surrounded me with comfort. Without a doubt people served God on my behalf throughout that time. O give thanks to God.
Now I am called back to serve. Numerous strangers reached out to me. God’s love surrounded me constantly during the hours of this emergency. Since then, family and friends have hooked into the parade of those demonstrating God’s care and love. Moment by moment I am reminded to give thanks for such kindness and care.
As I begin to heal, I am nudged. Where are my openings to serve God, even as I am immobilized at home? Surely, I can pray. Who might appreciate a “New Year”/Advent word of encouragement and hope? My phone might be a tool. For some folks an email message or a text might bring a hopeful start to their day.
Could we give a gift of prayer to agencies that serve to encourage the growth of justice and righteousness, or to fill the gaps in an unfair system? Where or how can we help address hunger, or homelessness, or holes in the health care system?
Thanks be to God for the strangers who reached out to me. Today let each of us, whether with strangers, acquaintances, or friends, be aware of opportunities to extend arms and resources in caring ways. Let us respond to those opportunities.
-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Diaconal Minister
Prayer for Reflection
Lord have mercy on those in need this day. Thank you, God, for your nudges. Help me to respond to those in need as I am able. Amen.
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