My daughters took ballet lessons when they were little. As usual, we had a dance recital to attend once a year. It was an exciting time for a little girl – to be up on stage dressed in a pretty costume, stage make-up on your face, and hair up in a ballerina bun. After an exciting dance-filled evening, we would greet our little ballerina after the show with flowers and praise.
Truth? With all those little girls up on stage, dressed exactly alike and with the same hairdo, I sometimes wasn’t even sure which little girl was mine! You had to look for clues, like dark hair bun vs blonde hair bun, and skinny kid vs chubby kid. Eventually, towards the end of the dance number, I would finally figure out which kid was mine.
It was several years ago after one of our church Christmas concerts when my daughter Amanda was telling me how much she enjoyed the music. I was one of the choir members. Our choir had concert outfits – tuxes for the men and a skirt and top for the women. Yes, we were all dressed alike. Amanda said, “The concert was great, but I couldn’t see you up there, mom. Where were you standing?” I was on the top row. Duh. But I guess, from a distance, we all looked alike and she had trouble picking me out.
So – I just started this new job. I hate starting new jobs. Oh the ‘work’ part of the job isn’t so bad – it’s the part of figuring out where everything is and who-the-heck everyone is that I don’t like. And there are two things that make it extra hard to get to know my co-workers. #1 There are a lot of contingent employees. Contingent means there are a lot of part-timers and so you don’t see the same people every day. #2 Everybody wears scrubs! I work in an out-patient surgical center and the first thing we do is change into blue scrubs – and if you happen to be someone who goes into the operating room, you have a bonnet on your head. That makes it hard to use hair color as an identifier. >sigh<
So there I am with all these people milling around me. Is she a tech or a nurse? And that guy? Oh – he’s not a doctor he’s a tech, too. Ahh … another nurse. Oops, no, that’s the anesthesiologist.
This morning I was very anxious going to work. The job is still very new and the unfamiliarity makes me feel uncomfortable, inadequate, and nauseous. Then this blue-scrub-clad women walks by and I hear her voice, and I recognize her voice! She turns to me and we both had this “Ah ha!” moment. “Pat!” I cried. “Laurel” she replied. Oh my goodness – it was a familiar face, and I didn’t know she worked there, and I hugged her, and she hugged me back, and we both we smiling and laughing, and it felt SO GOOD!
Seeing Pat instantly turned my anxious day around because I suddenly knew someone and it just made me feel a little more like I belonged.
After that, I figured I would dive right in and I just started asking everyone their name and told them I probably would ask again and again. And I tried calling people by name – even if I knew I was probably wrong at guessing who they were. I decided it was better to talk to them and goof their name because at least they were getting to know me.
I have been privileged to sing at a few funerals. I say privileged, because it means something special to be asked to share my voice at such a personal affair – where family is grieving a loved one and God seems so near. It is very difficult to sing at a funeral and I have to mentally distance myself from what is happening so I can sing without crying.
At one particular funeral, I sang with my friend Cherie the song, “He Knows My Name”. Oh my I love that song. Makes me cry to sing it – and I don’t have to be at a funeral! For those who don’t know it – here are some of the lyrics:
I have a maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hand
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
I have a Father
He calls me his own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go
Such a perfect funeral song. Can you imagine being at the pearly gates and as you walk through, Jesus sees you coming and His whole face lights up as he RECOGNIZES you?? I mean – when we get to heaven we might all look the same with our heavenly robes and wings and all – but I’m sure we’ll be recognized! And He will call us by name!
For now – I will try to learn the names of all these new people at work. And if all else fails, I will just have to say, “Hey you in the blue scrubs!”
by the way ….
Moving out day has been delayed. We have found a wonderful person, Aranne (pronounced like Erin) who wants to work full-time as a staff person for Amanda. She has paperwork and orientation to get through so it might be an extra week. We also will need one or two other staff to fill in part-time – so please pray we find those extra’s who want some part-time hours with Amanda. And keep Aranne in your prayers – she could use a little help right now!