04 December, 2008
This little clip is from one of my all time favorite Christmas specials. Since I was a child I have always loved this little song. When I was little, I think it was because I was so lonely and I related so well to little Ebeneezer Scrooge. As I grew older, it took on a new meaning, as I began to realize that all around me there were so many lonely people. I was reminded of this again this week as I was riding in the elevator at the hospital, and an elderly man who riding with me said out loud, but not really to me, "Guess I'll eat alone again." I pretended not to have understood and I said, "I'm sorry, were you speaking to me?" He shook his head and told me that he was just talking to himself, and said he does a lot of that anymore. I was actually going to get off on the first floor, but I stayed on the elevator and rode down to the level with the cafeteria with him and followed him in. I really was not hungry, so I got a cup of coffee and went over and asked him if he'd mind if I joined him. A big smile came across his face as he said, "that would be nice." We sat and talked for awhile; well, actually he talked, I listened. He told me he was pretty much alone in the world and that he was there at the hospital to do rehab exercise. He told me about how the love of his life had passed away a few years ago and how his children no longer lived in this area. He went on and on, just telling me about his life... and I just sat and listened. After about 40 minutes I told him that I really had to go but I handed him one of my cards and told him to call me sometime and we could go to lunch again. As he read my card, he looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes and said, "God sent you to me, didn't he?" I'm hoping he calls me and we can do lunch again. Truthfully, I barely spoke to him at all. Honestly, I wanted to, but I was reminded of the words I have told the people I pastor over and over; "You have to earn the right to be heard." This man was not wanting to hear anyone... he wanted to be heard. Now that I've listened, I'm hoping he will give me the chance to tell him about a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It may take a couple of more lunches before he is ready to listen to me. Until then, God help me to remember that there are a lot of lonely people in my part of this world.