Yesterday's Lent text from blessed could not have been better chosen to accompany me to the fracture clinic
As u walk dwn the rd 2day, lk in2 the eyes of thse coming the other way. C the face of Chrst in them &pray they C His face in yrs
Christ in the man struggling on crutches whom I meet as we reachthe heavy swing doors into the department.Silently, ruefully, we compare our relative fitness to push open the doors & by tacit agreement take one each.
Christ in the little girl, 5 at the most, who comes over to me because we have matching casts & slings. She smiles & smiles but will not answer my question until her mum comes over & signs it for her. Then she responds eagerly, with a dance of fluid movements - which she repeats & repeats til she is sure I have got the message. She has recently been given cochlear implants but has yet to make sense of the new world of sounds that has been opened up to her. Even so, she is determined to reach out & communicate.
Christ in the plaster technician who massages my shoulders while his colleague moves my arm into new & uncomfortable positions - instinctively responding to pain I had not named aloud.
Christ in the two ladies, - white haired, frail, their two faces marked by suffering, who supported each other down the long corridor, silent & focussed amid the bustle of arrivals & departures.
Christ in the face of my consultant, perfectly attentive to me & my needs despite the throng of students, nurses & auxilliaries in the room - alert to any signs of disproportionate pain, taking time to really hear.
Christ in the many waiting in wheelchairs & trolleys - those whose job, for now, is to bear, to find themselves trapped in the passive mode.
Christ in the family members beside them, hoping their presence will make the experience less wearisome...those who could walk away, who are not themselves dependent on the institution for pronouncements & for healing, but who stay to go through the process of disempowerment, of ceding control to a system that is imperfectly communicated, in unacknowledged solidarity with their injured relatives.
Christ in the friend who briefly abandons her husband, newly returned from a business trip, so that she can come & find me & bring me home.
Today I am home alone. Where will I find Christ, I wonder