From the seat of a Wheel Chair
I went back to work this past Monday for the first time since November 15th. As noted in a previous entry I had simple foot surgery on the 16th.This week with the help of a wheel chair I made my way to the units I serve as a hospital chaplain. For an abled-bodied person like myself it is quite an experience to temporarily experience life from a wheel chair.
Being in the midst of Advent we are invited and reminded to create in our minds and heart a place of conscious waiting for a deeper experience of the presence of God. We light candles as a placeholder, creating the potential of greater illumination as we wait for this spiritual occurrence.
Rolling down the long hospital hallways, I find myself waiting in lots of new ways…in the situations where a door can’t be opened from a seated position, I wait for the Samaritan to help me get through the door…in the rooms where the light switch is placed for a standing person, I ask for help to get the lighting I need. In the cafeteria, I wait for someone to help me balance a tray and get the food, which otherwise can’t be reached…
And then once I get to the places I am going and am able to do the things I am setting out to do, I breathe deep in gratitude that I will be using a wheel chair only for a short period of time. For me, I have become more conscious of waiting to be able to “do.” And on the days when I am in a hurry, I am not so crazy about the time it takes to “get there”, wherever there is.
However Advent does not ask me to wait to “do,” but rather asks me for a waiting that demands “being.” It is not contingent on my physical mobility. Advent challenges me to turn slow down, to stop the wheels of my busy mind, to be awake and be seated in the present moment, for the Light that has shattered the darkness.