National Cancer Institute, Mon 8:45 AM
The sign overhead said EKG/Phlebotomy (place where they remove flees, I think). We’ve come for Kathy’s blood tests preceding Vaccine #2. There’s a hospitable tea cart & pastries before us.
An interesting array of folks came by as we waited for her # A-58 to be called. In front of me sat an older black man in a wheel chair waiting. Had a b&w hat on said, “ I love Jesus” - and I bet he did.
Told him I liked his hat , and the guy on it, which brought smiles of knowing - wanted to tell him I liked him too , but I choked on a chicken bone.
His # was called, and he raised his hand, but like the man waiting beside the Pool of Siloam, no one noticed. So ol’ Jack shuffled overto the powers that be - sneakers sneaking, foot a’draggin’ (slow down Jack, one step at a time) - said “This gentleman needs some help” And so I joined the parade.
There was the young black man with perfectly groomed hair and some that grew out the top like a pineapple (dyed yellow), and the dignified Ethiopian family whose son to be treated wore a shirt that said, “I am the wild card” - a good slogan for this parade. And there was a middle-age white man - bow-legged- shufflin’ across the floor. Weary eyes and worn-out souls emerged from their tests parading before me (and the One who sees) - deep calls unto deep.
My folks, these - imperfect in many ways. Never knowing all they’ve been through, they still show up for the battle each day and play their parts nobley— hoping to hear ‘Well done” when it all really is. I’m happy to be found among such as the least of these “My brethren” - taking my place in the Parade of the Imperfect.