Monday, June 25, 2012

Moved to Tears

This will be lengthy....get comfy and grab a Kleenex.

Have you ever witnessed an act of kindness that moved you to tears?  That very thing happened to me today at work.  I was checking an elderly patient in for his appointment at the front window.  I went over the necessary paperwork, entered his insurance info and then asked for his co-pay.  He asked me if I could post date the check for the beginning of next month.  I explained to him that I cannot do that and that the check would be deposited tomorrow.  He then explained that his Social Security won't be deposited until maybe July 3rd.  He said "Well, we'll take a chance.  My wife will be in this afternoon and she will have a check, too.".  I stamped the back of his check, wrote it on my ledger and placed it in my cash drawer.  I told the patient thank you and he sat down in the lobby.

Moments later, another patient appeared at my window with cash in her hand, stated that she felt bad for the man and wanted to pay BOTH co-pays.  I wept.  I hung my head down, my brain went fuzzy and I just wept.  My heart was so full at that very moment that I could not stop the tears.  My mind buzzed around trying to figure out how I should handle it, how I could get the check back to the man and I could get my composure back to wait on the next patient.  I just let the tears roll.

You see...most recently, I had lost all faith in mankind.  I had decided that I hated dealing with people as some can be really nasty at the front window of a medical office.  No matter how nice I am to patients, some are just so mean to me.  I decided I wasn't going to change how I treated others even if they treated me poorly.  I would just come in, do my job with a smile and go home.  Easy enough.

Ok, so fast forward to today.  God reached right around my heart and reminded me that good people DO exist in this mean 'ol world.  He reminded me that just as that woman was a beacon of hope in this world, I should continue to treat others with the same kindness I have been showing.  I can be a beacon of light, even if others don't treat me kindly.

Once the lady paid and I wrote receipts that would be given the the elderly man, I just kept weeping.  I simply could NOT stop the flow of happy tears.  I told the next person who walked up that I needed to excuse myself and that I would return.  I ressured them that those were happy tears and that I was not upset. The bathroom was my quickest place to hide.  I was shocked to see just how red my entire face was, but knew I had to get back out there.  Ok, deep breath...

I returned to my window, waited on a few more patients and then realized I had to get the receipts to the elderly man.  Thankfully, the doctor hadn't come in his room yet.  I knocked and the moment I entered the room I started weeping again.  I choked through my tears and tried to explain what a stranger had done for them.  I grabbed his hand and knelt down to be more at eye level with him.  I explained that we no longer needed his check, that the receipts showed that their co-pays had been paid and that the stranger did not want to be identified. 

His tears came faster and we just held hands more tightly.  His hands were so incredibly soft.

As we were both overcome with emotion, he shared with me that he had just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where he had been honored as a veteran.  He said he had never felt so honored as during that trip.

Then it dawned on me...That soft hand I held belonged to a veteran.  I squeezed his hand a little tighter.  One of the reasons I enjoy freedom today is the fact that this man fought for our country.  This sweet, tender man who was worried about his bank account being overdrawn by $30.  For all the sacrifices he had made he still felt uneasy about accepting the stranger's kind deed at my window.  What a humble soul.

He also explained to me that the reason they were short on money this month was due to having to replace their windshield.  He explained that they have a $250 deductible and the windshield cost was $245.  What a shame that one repair meant being short the $30 needed for their co-pays.  I think he was embarrassed and felt the need to explain why money was tight.  To me, it didn't matter.  It just reminded me that you never know another person's situation.  You just never know.

Later that afternoon, I also checked in this man's wife for her appointment.  She got teary-eyed as she explained to me that she was grateful, yet embarrassed.  I asked her if she had ever done anything for another person and she said yes.  I told her it was now her turn to be blessed. 

Bottom line:

To some, it is just two $15 co-pays. For me, it was an example of Christ's love. Nothing short of God using me as the messenger in the situation and blessing me all in the same moment. He reminded me to not take the little things for granted. He reminded me that GOOD does still exist. Right here. Right now.

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