Thursday, December 05, 2013

In the Hall

I work on the adolescent behavior unit of a community hospital. These mentally ill children need a lot of help, much of which I cannot and do not provide. I'm the hallway monitor. This position requires me to sit in the hallway and make sure the kids don't enter each other's room. It is not brain surgery. 

But I do pray for these hurting babies, and maybe that's what I'm really here for. And I listen to them, and help keep them safe. It isn't much, though maybe it's more than I know. I remember when I had to leave my own child here. I'm glad someone cared for and listened to him. Glad they kept him safe.

I used to be Claudia Mair Burney, multibook contracted author! Now my name is Claudia Love Mair. That really is my name! And I mostly keep kids on a mental health ward safe. Sometimes it bothers me that I'm not the author so much now. Sometimes it doesn't.

Sr. Thea Bowman once said that the difference between her and most people was she was content to do her little bit. What a brave posture. I do my little bit, but with a gnawing hunger for more, and little contentment. But today I feel awfully small, and it seems like all I have is a little bit. And it's freeing to think that's all I've been entrusted with today: sit in the hall. Keep kids safe. Pray for them. Be content. It's doable. Maybe even heroic, in the ordinary way of people showing up for their own lives, and trying to do no harm is heroic.

I've been neglecting my year long discipline to take self portraits, but here is one today. I am in my hallway, grasping for some love of being here (notice my heart frame!). 



This hospital is where I am, much of the time, and in truth, it's not a bad place to be. I can love this moment. This really small, right now thing. And leave it at that.

I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay? And thanks for being here.


Nedra J. Smith said...

Different shoes, different titles, different names...God always knows us. Have a blessed one!

P.S. The frame IS nice. :-)

Jean Moon said...

Suppose your Mom had packed your lunch... just a couple of small, dried fish and 5 little biscuits and you went on a journey, following the crowd to hear a man speak about how blessed are those who are poor in spirit, not to worry because God takes care of you, don't judge one another, love your enemies. And then you were hungry, but so was everyone else. They problem was there were 5,000 people there and you are the only one with a lunch. A tiny lunch. So tiny, how could it be of any help at all to feed all those hungry people. But you allowed Jesus to take your lunch, your insignificant little dried fish and barley biscuits and he blessed and multiplied them until they fed the five thousand all they could eat and there were 12 baskets left over. You have no idea what being a hall monitor means in God's kingdom, nor who will touch the world someday because you were there to love them and pray for them. When we give our most feeble little thing; HE adds his supernatural to our natural, and He brings about things we could never imagine. You are blessed.