We stand at the window and look over the snow-strewn landscape. The dome of our state capitol building gleams in the forefront and its gold leaf shimmers against the backdrop of powdered sugared trees sprinkled on the hills.
“It sure makes a pretty picture,” I say, writing poems in my mind.
But this one says nothing, sitting still in the wheelchair, lost inside the head.
This one had an accident and the legs no longer work.
And I’ve dealt with angry patients, and patients who lie, and ones who want to do it their own way because they have been loved well. But the hardest ones are these—the quiet ones. So many times I’ve wondered what kind of patient I would be and I let my mind linger there as we settle into the stillness like a snowflake melting into the earth.
I don’t know that I would have the grace of these people—the ones who suffer my invasions and probing questions. I don’t know that I would be a favorite.
I think too much.
I am thinking this as I wheel this one back to the room. I think about how Jesus put himself in my place and how he asks me to do this same thing every day. Some days I am too consumed with myself to do this hard thing that he asks. But today, when I heed this command, my heart becomes glass—a fragile mirror of ice, melting.
Maybe one moment will not matter. Maybe it will not make a difference inside the accumulation of time that make up the spread of days. But I must live as if it will. So when I look at this one, I am looking at myself; I am looking at Jesus.
And at least one heart is changed because of the way I choose to see.