Last Monday I stopped by the Emergency Department to round on the waiting area…one of the nursing assistants approached me with a piece of paper…on it was a patient’s name, 2 phone numbers, her room number and the words “eye glasses” So the hunt began….first I found the security officer so he could let me in the lost and found closet, then traveled to the 4th floor for a description of the glasses directly from the patient, then back down to the ED…it was then that I noticed a man-mid 40’s maybe, sitting on the edge of the gurney in a hall bed with his legs dangling over the edge, moving them back and forth….he looked at me, I smiled, nodded and said “Hi”…then kept walking – I was on a mission to find eye glasses.  On my next walk through in the ED a few minutes later, our eyes met again, so I stopped.  I said, “Do you need a blanket?” He pointed to the one folded on the bed beside him and said, “No, I got one, thanks.” I then asked, “Are we taking good care of you?” He said, “Yes, I’m here to detox, gotta get off the alcohol.” I said…..

“Good for you,   strong people are the ones that seek help, you are in the right place and I’m so glad you are here.”  He said, “My boss wants me to get healthy, I need to keep my job.” I said, “That’s awesome you have his support.” He said, “In three weeks we get another big order to make furniture and I gotta be there.”  I said, “Can I say a prayer for you, that’s kinda how I roll?” (As a former adjunct chaplain of Wesley Long Hospital -I’m comfortable asking this question) He said, “That would be great.” I replied, “How bout right now? and I put my hand on his shoulder.  We bowed our heads, I lifted him up – asked for continued strength, more courage, excellent care givers to surround him and how proud he should be that he came to the hospital for help.  Word of thanks and AMEN.  That’s when he grabbed my hand and gently kissed it and said “Thank you.”

I held back tears, smiled real big and said, “You’re welcome.”

As I walked away, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people walked by this man as he sat on the gurney with his feet dangling over the side…Who have you walked by today?  If you could have a ‘do over’ what would you do differently?

Next time you are walking down the hallway in your organization and you see a complete stranger, or a customer or an employee, Stop, ask them how they are doing, ask them if they are receiving good services or care, ask them how they are being treated or what they love about their job or if there are concerns that need to be addressed….you never know what you may discover.