Love Waits


Originally posted in 2012.

As I handed her the list of names, she giggled just a smidge as she said, “Man, this is a Who’s Who at KU Medical Center…impressive.”

I giggled back with, “I’ve always been kind of an overachiever.”

We talked about our kids. We talked about our husbands. We talked about life.

Woman to woman, we just talked.

And yeah, we also talked about medical “blah, blah, blah”stuff too. It was a doctor’s appointment. And she was, after all, the newest member of my medical dream team.

But even so, when it was time to go, I half-hugged her and said a heartfelt, I-really-do-need-you kind of thank you.


This moment. This exchange. This cut-the-stuffy humanity.

It took me back to something I came to terms with a long time ago.

Doctors. Nurses. Aides. Techs. Transport. Office Staff.

All of them need our compassion. All of them need our patience. All of them need a whole lot of Jesus with skin on.

Seriously, people, they DO.

The death. The anguish. The anger.

The impatience. The bad moods. The disappointment.

The overdoses. The accidents. The poo.

(The poo thing, by the way, is both literal and figurative.)

All of them bear it together all day, every day.

My smack-me-upside-the-head moment came in a surgeon’s waiting room. I could tell the doc was running late merely by the expression on the face of the lady at the desk. I almost cried for her right then and there.

But I was fresh, hadn’t waited yet and the compassion came easy.

Then I waited 20 minutes.

That’s when the lady who had, for the last 20 minutes, audibly expressed her displeasure to the entire waiting room stood up and shouted, “LISTEN!!! If I have to wait another 10 minutes, I am going to start smoking in this freaking (edited) waiting room!!!!”

Then I waited 30 minutes more.

That’s when another soul got in the face of a nurse and yelled, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN GET A FLEET PREP KIT WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION???????? I AM TELLING YOU I CAN’T, BOO BOO (also edited for a name that starts with a B.)

And then I waited an hour more.

It was at this point, I could feel the frustration rising just a bit. My popular inner-dialogue was saying, “Come on, people.” I was even bouncing my foot in general antsy protest.

But then I hear, “Sara?”

As we walked back to the room, his nurse said, “Sorry. Rough day in the ER…the doc runs clinic simultaneously on days he’s on call so that patients don’t have to wait so long to get an appointment. But when he’s needed for consult, our schedule gets pushed back. Poor man’s been running around all day.”

I smiled with a slight falsetto, “No problem, emergencies happen.”

(To be honest, I didn’t really mean it.)

But then he came in the room, gently apologizing and asking my forgiveness. As I muttered something, I kept thinking his face looked familiar. Then we began chatting about surgical options and I forgot about it.

Until the next day and even a few days after that…it just kept nagging the holy snot out of me.

That is, until one day, when it clicked.

This man had been the trauma surgeon on call for the ER the day I went into septic shock.

Somewhere in his kind eyes, his gentleness, his smile, my jumbled brain remembered.

So I asked around, “Was he? Could he? I think I remember…?”

In return, “Most likely. Entirely possible. Yeah, that sounds about right.”

And then it hit…

That day, patients waited because of me.

That day, patients got angry because of me.

That day, he braved a mess so he could give a consult that would save MY life.

That day, that day, THAT day…


That moment. That exchange. That cut-the-stuff humanity.

Reminded me that love isn’t rude or meant to bunch my drawers or make me think my stuff doesn’t stink.

Love considers…

The death. The anguish. The anger.

The impatience. The bad moods. The disappointment.

The overdoses. The accidents. The poo.

Both literal and figurative.

Love sheds my fleshiness for Jesus.




Well, put quite simply…

Love. Waits.

One thought on “Love Waits

  1. Martha G. Brady says:

    your description of what is going on behind the scenes in a doctor’s office where patients don’t see is so true…and often those same things are said on the phone that you heard in the waiting room…at least to the staff in the office!

    i worked for just about 10 years for an internist. no, he didn’t work in the ER like the doctor you saw, but for most of that time, he did rounds in the hospital before he came to work and saw patients…and he had lots of calls coming in from other sources re patients as well!

    patients assume that all a doctor has to think about are the patients he sees in the office and it just isn’t true! with obamacare, there is even more added craziness going on…added paperwork…mounds of it, new coding that just started up in october that is considerably more complex and requirements up the wazoo with much less income to boot!

    offices try to plan to accommodate all the eventualities, but it just isn’t possible! my recommendation is to plan to wait. take your craft work or book or whatever so you can wait patiently and be pleasant about it whether the office staff is or not.

    then, give a kind word to them and your doctor. you will be remembered for it gladly. and if you aren’t? remember, you are a child of GOD and you want to reflect well on Him!

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