I don’t know about you, but I love people-watching. On holiday in York a few weeks ago I was one of thousands visiting that beautiful city. Fascinating to watch how our different cultures affect our behavior, wonderful young mums or dads trying to handle their offspring, and so on.
On Wednesday I spent a while at Radiology in the Heath. It seems I’ve developed osteoarthritis in the hip, and the GP wanted it checked out. A hospital, especially a big one like the Heath, is a whole city to itself. As you make that long trek from the UHW concourse to wherever you are going in this huge complex, all life treks with you – or towards you. And all, of course, have that special hospital look on their face, either because they are a patient or are visiting a patient. It’s a look which speaks of knowing that someone is suffering – themselves or someone else – while also speaking of our human determination to keep going, to persevere, to care, to love. Some are silent, some lost in thought, some in tears. Some are in wheelchairs, some on stretchers. All are in need, because all are human, visitor and patient alike.
There are many, many ways to be broken. Wounds are of many kinds, most of them, perhaps, not visible to the eye. Imagine if we could x-ray one another’s inner feelings! None of us is immune to the brokenness or wounds of life. So let’s all undertake to be a little more caring for one another. And appreciative of those who care for us, whether it’s their job or not.
One of Pope Francis most famous sayings was this one:
“I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. … And you have to start from the ground up.”