Yesterday a resident at the assisted living home where I work came to me for help. He asked if I had a dictionary. I had none, but there was a thesaurus on my desk, so I offered it to him. “I just want to look up the meaning of a word,” he told me. This gentleman has very poor eyesight, so after trying to read the tiny word and its synonyms, he asked if I’d read aloud to him. The word? Bimbo.
This gentleman is also VERY hard of hearing. He must be spoken to loudly and slowly. So, I proceeded to read the synonyms for “bimbo” to him. I sat there, screaming “HUSSY, SLUT, WANTON, JEZEBEL, JADE, WENCH…” and so on.
Then he asked me to repeat it, of course, more loudly and slowly.
Several individuals walked past, including a brand new resident’s family. What to do??? Nothing for it, I forged ahead and continued screaming, “HUSSEEEE…”
It seems to me that often life brings situations when doing what we are called to do makes us look foolish, even crazy. Sometimes others might think we’re odd when they catch a glimpse of us going about our God-given tasks.
I’m not easily embarrassed, so it’s not that I was bothered all that much by the words I was saying. However, I do love to maintain the illusion of perfection, and what, I ask you, is perfect-looking about a woman screaming at the top of her lungs, “SLUUUT, WENNNCH…”??? Part of my job is to maintain some sort of professionalism and yelling such words is hardly professional. However, a more important part of my job is to love the people God brings my way.
As the meaning of the word was heard, an enormous grin passed across this man’s face. He began to chuckle, since he now understood the punchline of whatever he’d been told that got him wondering about the word “bimbo.” Imagine a man who, since he can hardly see and hardly hear, has almost no social interaction. He lives most of his days in silence, finding it too frustrating to continuously ask others to slow down and speak more loudly. A man who once had a successful law career, a wife, and no doubt an interesting life, now hardly has any interpersonal contact.
But not yesterday. Yesterday, we laughed like old friends. We shared a silly moment, and I got to see a rare smile and even rarer mirth from this guy who normally gets by on necessary contact, but almost never enjoys a friendly chat. Sometimes loving another person isn’t the normal sugary sweet stuff. Sometimes taking advantage of the opportunities God gives us to love means we might end up doing something seemingly foolish.
Yesterday, I loved someone by screaming, “SLUT!!!” at him. I ignored what I feared others might think, gave this one person my undivided attention, and in turn, made his day and mine. It’s the funniest thing I’ve been called upon to do in a while, but it’s had me thinking ever since how much I want to be able to seize opportunities to love, even the weird opportunities. I want to do what I’m called to do, what I’m MADE to do, no matter how it looks to passers-by. I want to have the guts to own my life, use my gifts, and pour out all I have. No holding back. Even if it means screaming “HUSSY!”by