Monday, December 7, 2009

A worthy sermon?

I went to church yesterday. The minister talked about a near-miracle he had seen by the patience of bank tellers dealing with the poor and infirm in a meaningful way in Somerville last week. He was impressed that even the people in line around him weren't freaking out by a 30 minute wait. He linked it to the week's readings, so maybe it wasn't quite the stretch I thought....

A few weeks ago I was at Somerset Pediatrics with N. It was an appointment to discuss something, not a regular physical, nor a sickness check. The doctor was fantastic! She really listened to me. She observed N and spent a lot of time with us. When we were leaving, I realized that she'd taken nearly 40 minutes with us and I felt very well cared for! As we returned to the waiting room, the woman who had been sitting next to me with her sick son was complaining loudly about the wait - giving me a dirty look - and ranted about how this took too long. I turned to the nurse and asked her to thank the doctor for taking the time she needed with us. In response to the impatient Mom, I said to the nurse that I'm sure she'll be just as thorough with her next patient.

I have to remember this the next time I am waiting unexpectedly long.

But a miracle? I might have felt saved at that moment by a doctor who gave me common sense advice and information... but I wouldn't describe people doing their job thoroughly while the rest of us wait patiently as miraculous, even if she was healing the sick!

Do we really live in a society where basic patience for people doing their jobs is compared to miracles? We live in an area with horrible traffic, especially around the Somerville circle (getting through there without an accident may be a miracle, though!) and areas around Bridgewater commons, not to mention the interstates. We live in a society of  people with an unreasonable sense of entitlement. And we live in a time where nearly everyone expects instant gratification.

So this year (and every year) remember to pour on the patience as we drive, shop, send things and run endless errands in this holiday rush. It may be the most holiday-spirit thing that we do!!

1 comment:

Jem said...

Excellent perspective. No one likes to be kept waiting, but as long as doctors are paid for the number of patients they see, rather than for doing quality medicine, their calendars will continue to be over-loaded.

I'm glad you thanked the nurse AND that N got the care he deserves.