What Keeps Me Going

November 12, 2013


You know what keeps me going when it feelings like I’m running in place? I have these pictures of things already past and of things yet to come ingrained in my brain like tattoos in my mind.

My past shows me an image of a little boy frightened beyond belief by the changes taking place inside his very body. A little boy who never really understood what was happening to him because no one thought to ask what he needed. Everyone was making decisions that would effect the little boy long after he was no longer a little boy anymore, yet no one asked him what he thought he needed…

There’s a little boy in my future, too. Many of them, in fact. Little girls, as well. And they all have one thing in common: their bodies are imperfect and the little boys and the little girls, they just want to be children. They just want to go outside and play and they just want to go to school and learn. They want to go on to become teachers, police officers, firefighters, and, yes, maybe even doctors. But more than anything else, they want to be children and they want to be understood. So, the little boys and the little girls, they come and see Dr. JT. They know that this doctor is unlike the rest because he takes the time to explain to them things both frightening and complicated in a way that is neither frightening nor complicated. This doctor, he always talks to the little children, never at them and never through them. This doctor always takes the time to make sure that the little children understand what is happening to them as fully as their young minds will allow.

And this doctor, he doesn’t forget that while healing starts with the body, it ecompasses the mind and the spirit. So, when a family, after just receiving news that will change their lives forever, asks for a chaplain to come pray with them, this doctor, Dr. JT, takes the family by the hand, lowers his head, and begins the healing process with three simple words,

“Dear Heavenly Father. . .”



The Road Less Traveled

August 2, 2012

The road less traveled, it’s the only road I’m on for days at times. Lonesome sometimes, but often I’ll come across another drifter who’s low on hope and faith. I give him what I can, even if that is only a few words of encouragement and I find someone to walk with me until the roads split again and we part ways. Life is not about the destination, but the journey in between and the people you meet while wandering down the road less traveled.

In the words of American poet, Robert Frost, “Two roads split in the wood and I, I took the road less traveled. It has made all the difference.”

The Friendly Cyclops

January 31, 2012

She stares at me from her seat on the bus. This stare is different from the stares I’ve grown accustomed to. My presence doesn’t repulse her, rather it drives her curiosity. She cocks her head and stares at me, baffled by the mysteries my appearance present to her. I meet her curious stares with a warm smile. She smiles back and nods as she deboards the bus, confirming that she has received my telepathic message, “It’s ok. I’m a friendly cyclops.”

Even in my Dreams

December 20, 2011

Even in my dreams, I wander through these endless halls of tiled floors, elevators and desks. I pass each room, peering inside to see people lying in their beds attached to intravenous catheters, respiratory catheters, urinary catheters, feeding catheters; too many catheters. I enter each room as if I were a ghost hovering invisibly above the tiled floors. Why does my spirit keep bringing me back here? Haven’t I seen more of this place than any person should need to? Why would I choose to spend the rest of my life amidst these hallowed halls that echo with the cries of children long since passed away? I don’t know. All I know is that even in my dreams, my spirit returns.

Whatever State I be in

November 23, 2011

I wouldn’t have chosen this life. That’s one of only a few statements I can make with absolute certainty. The life God gave to me is not what I would have chosen for myself. Even with all that I know now, I would have chosen not to wander along the road less taken. I would have chosen the easier life where I would never witness my father in tears over my hospital bed. Where I would never know the intense pain of seeing my mother break down as I screamed at God in angry, bitter sobs. I would have chosen in a heartbeat to walk the path where I never once felt that I was not allowed to dream. How many times I screamed at God in bitter curses for not allowing me the privilege to dream. I felt less than human. Not worthy of anything but extraordinary and unbearable pain.

That’s why I’m most grateful that God did not give me what I wanted. Instead he gave to me and will continue to give to me what I need. I wouldn’t be fit for God’s plans for me had I not seen what is painful to see. Some people get to pick their destiny. I wasn’t given that privilege, for I was born into mine.

The Game of Life

November 14, 2011

I didn’t get to play the card game with a full hand. That’s how I explain my life to others. As I sat down at the card table, it seemed everyone had a full hand but myself, who only had one card to play with. Frustrated and angry, I sat wondering how I was supposed to win this game with only one card. I bluffed my way through each round with a poker face, thinking that just getting by was the best I could hope for. I’d play this game as long as I could, if only to see how far I could get before my chips were spent. Life for me could have continued that way had I not had the courage to look into myself and see that though I had fewer cards than my opponents, the one card I had was an ace and that is all I need to win in life.

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