Thursday found me back at Toyota, jokes ready, should opportunity arrive. I entered the small waiting room where a masked woman sat in my favorite corner. She focused on her laptop and communicated without words,” Shh, I’m busy.”
Aside from some jokes I brought along, I needed an opportunity. We’re studying First Peter in Community Bible Study. So, I was primed to “give an answer for the hope that is within me.” Except I didn’t feel all that hopeful and she wasn’t asking. So I read the commentary for the week, then hauled out another puzzle.
While waiting, I thought about you and the “jokes” my brother sent me. They were T-shirts for seniors. I think the masked woman might have written the first two. “On your mark, Get set…Go away!” Or, “I’ve stopped listening. Why are you still talking?” And “If you’re happy and you know it, it’s your meds.” Or “Sorry I’m late…I didn’t want to come.” Then my daily temptation, “Everyone was thinking it, I just said it.”
We never exchanged even a nod. She left and I followed a couple of hours later, minus a few hundred dollars. My Prius hummed along the highway as I headed to CVS to get my flu shot. One fun adventure after another.
The shot giver ushered me to a small curtained area, where I sat and rolled up my sleeve. She wore a uniform of sorts, though I never checked her credentials. However, my prickles rose when she touched me gently, and spoke softly. I recognized that timidity. ME, when I had to give shots to Jud, for a few months. He’d give me that look and finally say, “Just do it!” I was as good a nurse as I was a dressmaker in home economics. I served only as a good example of what not to do. Come to think of it, both involved needles.
Back to CVS. When I get a shot, I prefer someone who speaks and grabs my arm with authority. I’m ready for the pinch and jab, followed by, “Done!” This, however, was happening in slow motion. While she dabbed alcohol to disinfect my arm, I thought of taking a swig of something, if she took much longer.
Next she shyly alerted me, that I could expect a slight prick. I did my don’t-giggle-in-church-pinch with my thumb and pointer finger and prepared for the “slight prick.” It didn’t come. While I pinched and waited, she contemplated. I felt like shrieking, “Just do it!”
Finally, I felt the needle touch my arm and s-l-o-w-l-y enter. In and in, it went. My turn to contemplate. “Is she drilling for oil or trying to come out the other side?” At last she removed the needle, and ever so gently placed a band-aid over the hole she’d excavated. While she exhaled slowly, I thanked her, rolled down my sleeve and hoped she wasn’t a mind reader.
As I hurried to my car, I shouted, “Done!” Later I wondered if I was her first patient? Her impatient patent. Is this just one of her jobs? What and who waits for her when she gets home? What if, God help me, she’d asked for the hope that was within me? I guess I’d have been left mumbling, “I hope I don’t get the flu.”
Hope matters. Especially the kind of hope that makes no sense without Jesus.
Laughter and good jokes matter, too. I’ll hunt some better ones, like “If you see me jogging, please trip the person chasing me.”
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