Before I launch into the applicable portion of my blog, I just have to tell you about where I went yesterday and the cool experience I had while I was there. It seems a bit miraculous now that I sit and think about it. I was driving to get a blood test yesterday morning (which is when God put the topic for this blog on my heart). I had cut myself shaving the day before (probably too much information…sorry) and I would not stop bleeding for an hour. Having been low on platelets in my recent past, I decided I better get this checked out. I got there at 11:30am and left the hospital at 12:30. All of what I am about to tell you happened in one hour. Crazy. As I have mentioned, I really miss my “hospital” friends. This includes doctors, nurses, admin. staff, cafe workers and even patients. Without making any specific appointments, here are all the people I just “happened” to see in that hour: (if you honestly could care less, I understand; just skip to the bottom of this list 🙂 )
First. Dr. Macharnuk, My Oncologist: so good to reconnect with him
*Dr Agamah: an Oncologist and family friend of 20 years who just started working in this Dept.
*Lindsay: My oncologist’s nurse who I became good friends with during the past 6 months
Then I walked across the street to another building at the Hospital. When I was there I saw:
Katie and Ashley: two of my favorite nurses from the Oncology floor. They told me that Jamie, another Leukemia patient who came in when I was there, was in for treatment.
Nick: a family friend and recent employee at the new portion of the Hospital
Ellen: also a friend and new employee but also someone I used to work with a few years ago
Debbie: another friend who works across the street and just happened to see me on her way out of the building (and also needed a hug)
Ed and David: The CEO of the hospital who became my good friend over the past 6 months. He is hardly EVER in his office but he just happened to be there AND was having lunch with another family friend/Doctor whose house we bought a few years ago.
Jamie: my friend and fellow Leukemia survivor who had just arrived that morning for treatment
Laura, Ruth, Jessie and Taylor: all nurses and staff on the oncology floor who served me faithfully the past several months.
Starr: I saw her in the hallway as I was leaving. She was the nurse who was on shift the night I came into the hospital after my initial diagnosis. She cried with us and told us “it’s just a little speed bump. You’ll get past this.” She was right.
Ok. Unless I am missing someone, and it’s possible that I am, that is SIXTEEN people that mattered to me. And I saw them ALL in one hour without arranging any of it ahead of time. What a gift (and oh-my blood work was fine. Platelets low but not dangerous.).
So-now back to the meat of the blog. As I was driving to get my blood work, right before I exited, I had a fleeting, shallow, terrible, selfish, greedy thought. I actually considered going a DIFFERENT way, just this once, because (Oh man, this is embarrassing) I knew that there was always a homeless person standing at the bottom of the exit. Right at a light. If you got caught at the light, you had to sit there while they stood with their sign RIGHT next to you for several minutes. I just didn’t want to deal with that. I am relieved to tell you that I did the right thing and exited anyway. Sure enough, there was a woman standing there with her “homeless” sign. And sure enough, the light turned red just as I pulled up to the light (I think God did that, just for amusement). I figured I might as well roll with it. I put my window down and handed her a few dollars. Ok-it was only a couple. But then, after she put it in her shoe for safe keeping, I decided it seemed rude to just roll my window up as I sat there. So I started chatting with her. She told me “God bless you, ma’am” and then that I was beautiful. I told her she was beautiful too (even though her eye was swollen almost shut). Then I did something that surprised me. I asked her what her name was. She said, “Cam”. I told her that was a pretty name. Then the light changed and I said, “it was nice to meet you, Cam.” That’s when I knew what I was going to talk about in this here blog: The beauty of hearing your own name spoken out loud. This is a rarity. I don’t think we notice that most people do NOT use our name when speaking to us, until we come into contact with someone who does. I used to work for someone who showed me how good, important, and “seen” I felt when my name is spoken. When we had a conversation, he would reply by saying, “ya know, Heather, ……..” . He always started with the person’s name. I am usually lucky if I can even remember the person’s name who I am taking with! He did this with everyone, which is part of the reason he has a thriving, successful business in my hometown. People feel valued by him, and I believe this is part of the reason why. He knows, and uses, people’s names when he talks to them.
God ,who created you,who formed you, says: “Fear not, for I have redeemed (recovered, repossessed, regained, retrieved, reclaimed) you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1. God calls YOU by name, too. We are not just a giant mass of nameless faces to him. He knows YOU intimately. He knows, and uses, YOUR name. He speaks it to you and over you.
Hmmm-the thoughts above just came out of nowhere. Probably something God needed to remind me of. Because really, what I intended to do, was encourage you to try it out. Use people’s names. Watch carefully and see if, over time, it makes a difference in your relationships. Or maybe it will just help someone else feel “noticed” and unique. I’ll never know for sure, but I’d be willing to bet that CAM felt noticed and that having someone ask what her name was meant more to her than the 2 bucks she stuck in her shoe.