It’s Getting Awkward In Here

Lately work has taken me to a lot of projects inside of hospitals.  This is a fantastic thing for my career.  My sanity (or lack thereof), however, is a different story.  Different systems, different procedures, etc. make for an “interesting day” one might say.

More specifically I want to speak on human interaction today.  How does this relate to my job?  Ever since doing the hospital projects I’ve ran across some people I never thought I’d interact with.  Some alive, some dead (bodies headed towards the morgue…not the live ones…at least I think they check first).

Recently I passed by a burn victim on my way out to my car.  This kid couldn’t have been older than 17 or 18 and his entire body was covered with burn scars.  Not being able to tell if any were fresh, but using deductive reasoning seeing as this was in the ER section of the hospital, I would venture to say he was in some degree of severe pain.  One would’ve thought he was hating life and in a constant state of depression and anger.

Though, there he sat looking happy as can be.

This stirs up jealousy.  Not a conceited evil sort of jealousy but a jealousy because I want that happiness.  Anger immediately follows.  Anger at myself for being so pitiful that I walk around complaining about not having enough money for my wedding or complain about my drive to work, or many other American “first world” problems.  I didn’t have to bare the pain of my own skin melting away.  For that, I am thankful and I need to remind myself of how much I am blessed.  We all need to remember this sometimes.

But I digress…

The point was that I had no idea what to say to him.  Inside I thought “Reach out to him…find out his story…see what happened…show him love…” and all of the other nice typical Christian things I could possibly do or cliche’ Churchy statements I could possibly say.  What do you think I did?  I said “Excuse me” and carried about my merry way on to my car.  WHAT?!  Why would I not say something?

Some of you just lost some mad respect for me.  But before you email me or comment below in a fit of rage, think about how many of us really do stop and talk to people that we think are “different” or “awkward”?  Are you one of those people?  I’m not talking about the high school “they’re not in my clique” type of different (which still happens in adulthood and is pure ridiculousness).  I’m talking about “Wow, that’s not what I’m used to and I don’t even know how to break out of my comfort zone to reach out to that person” sort of feeling.

If you take that opportunity every time to stop and really get a good background on these situations, and I personally know some of you that do, I applaud you.  I don’t say this out of sarcasm.  This is pure honesty.  I applaud you because I want to make that jump to just ask the questions and not continue to stare yet somehow still grapple with getting over that threshold of “the awkward moment“.

I know full well that people that have these outward issues are more often than not more beautiful than I am on the inside.  People with handicaps, deformities, obesity, whatever the case may be.  They’re different, but my God are they beautiful.

I’d like to challenge us to take tomorrow, the next day, or at any given time in the future to take that opportunity.  Any suggestions on how to cross over that “odd” threshold are welcome.  Lord knows I need the help in doing so.  If you do this on a regular basis, pray for me and those who can’t seem to.

Remember…even people like this guy are beautiful in God’s eyes: