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It was mid-afternoon at the UVA Medical Center when I checked in with the receptionist. She asked, “Name?” I answered and handed her my appointment confirmation. The phone rang, and she picked up saying, “Please hold,” then asked me, “Date of birth?” I replied, and she said, “Please be seated, we’ll be with you shortly.”

My appointment was only a check up. Although I had brought a magazine to read in case of a wait, I thought I’d be in and out within an hour. In my mind’s eye, I envisioned stopping for sweet corn at Critzer Family Farm on the drive home.

Ah, the taste of fresh-picked corn. This is the day that the Lord has made…

Turning the corner, I walked into the waiting room. It was crowded. I found an empty chair, sat down and grumbled to myself.

reading_glassesThis is the day that the Lord has made? I’ll be lucky to get through in two hours. No sweet corn for me today, and no quiet place to read either.

Then I opened my eyes. I saw two elderly women in wheelchairs, one with a caretaker and the other with her adult son and his wife; a family – father, mother, toddler and infant; a husband taking care of his wife; a wife taking care of her husband; a daughter my age taking care of her mother; and assistants at the eye clinic tending to all of us with patience and kindness.

This is the day that the Lord has made

I listened to their quiet conversations. “Are you all warm enough?” the physician’s assistant asked. “She’s always cold,” the son said about his aged mother, as he tucked a sweater around her. She peeked at me and smiled.

Some of these people probably can’t see well enough to read like I can, and yet they smile. This is the day that the Lord has made…

By the time I left the clinic, the waiting room was nearly empty and the receptionist had left for the day. Others would eat fresh corn that night. But rather than the taste of corn, I carried with me a good check-up report and the sweet, sweet sights and sounds of that waiting room.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

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