Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Finding the blessing

It has been a difficult few days in our area.  The tornado took a toll on all of us. If we didn't have damage to our homes or lose electricity, we probably know someone who did. There has been tremendous grief and a mountain of worry.  

In the midst of the trouble, the wound patients have found it hard to be as compliant as usual with things like eating enough protein, staying off their foot, and keeping the dressing changed as often as ordered. They've missed appointments in an attempt to avoid bad weather. It's just been a jumble at our office trying to work around the storm warnings and the storm damage. 

That might not seem like a big deal, but I am very particular about compliance so the wounds will get well quickly. (I've heard I'm pretty demanding.) Today, one of the first patients I saw immediately began making apologies for not doing what they were supposed to have done. Much to my surprise, I just smiled and said, "Oh, that's okay. It's been a hard few days. I'm not fussing at anyone this week.  You get a pass. Just do better next week." The patient was speechless for a minute, then started smiling. "Thanks!" I talked about how the wound was doing and spent the rest of our time finding out about how the storm had affected them. 

After I'd let one person off so easily, I couldn't suddenly get tough again, so I've "given passes" all day. We've had enough hard times this week.  Who wants to add a demanding doctor to everything else?  As I talked with the patients about the storm, I was surprised by how it had affected them. Some were without power. A few had lost a loved one. Some had freezers filled with food in danger of spoiling. The interesting thing was that, though most people had some kind of trouble related to the storm, they all had a blessing of some kind for which they were grateful. 

One man was a child during the tornado of 1936. He was grateful that the clean up wasn't mule-driven this time around. After he described the work back then, I was too. He'd also lived through a tornado that killed his good white horse. He was very grateful that not one of his horses was killed this time round. 

Another man was grateful for his good insurance that would reimburse him for the food in the freezer if it spoils. Everyone was grateful that their trouble hadn't been worse. 

At the end of the day, I was telling someone about the "grace in the storm" project.  As I talked, I realized I had been dispensing grace all day, and I really liked it. So, here's some grace for you: 

Do better tomorrow. 

Apologize to The Lord for your failures and just do better tomorrow. 

Grace. 

It feels good, doesn't it? Now, it's your turn. Spread some grace around.  Have fun!