Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The amazing nursing staff in the Infusion Center at the Chao Family Cancer Center at UC Irvine Medical Center. Thank you to the Gunther Foundation and to Arts & Services for the Disabled for allowing me the privilege of working with these amazing women in 2010.
Today was so full of Providence, I had to take notes at the dinner table to make sure I didn't miss anything in this post. I don't even know where or how to begin. Let's just start, and see where we go, shall we?
Okay, at yesterday's doctor's appointment, Ali was running a fever, so the doc said she had to stay home for 48 hours after her temp returned to normal. Now, I was supposed to work at the hospital fulfilling the last two sessions of music therapy for the Gunther Grant that I am currently there through this Thursday and Friday. So, on the way home from the doc's office yesterday, I called Grandma and asked if there was a day this week that she could come over and watch Ali while I finished off this grant. She said that she could come over today, so I combined my remaining hours into one full day at the hospital today.
I head out the door a little late thanks to some east coast work I had to submit, and by the time I got the exit off the freeway for the hospital, it was POURING rain. I noticed hiding behind the freeway sign was relatively young girl, trying to take refuge from the elements while hopefully picking up some donations from commuters along the way. Now, regardless of what anyone else's attitude or philosophy is about "giving money to the homeless/beggars," I follow a very simple credo. If I have it, I give it away, because it's not mine in the first place. Second, Jesus was homeless. Do you think most people at the time saw a man with flowing blonde hair and a beard? Historically speaking, they probably saw a dark haired, dark skinned homeless man. So, I think of the homeless as Jesus in Disguise.
Anyway, I open my wallet thinking I have a 5 or a couple of singles I can easily give away, and what do I see? A single twenty. Rats! I don't want to give that much away, I immediately hear my mind say. Then, I laugh at myself. I'm asking the universe to give me 3 million dollars and I can't give away twenty? I seriously laughed out loud at myself in my car, pulled the twenty out (with a little tinge of pain nonetheless), and got ready. The light turned, and as my car made it to her, I slowed down and rolled down my window, twenty in hand. A very happy - yes, happy - young woman emerged from her makeshift lean-to and reached out, and without looking at the money, just smiled a GIANT smile and made solid eye contact and actually connected with me. Her eyes shone as bright as her smile, and I couldn't help but think, "What are you doing here? You obviously have much to offer this world, if you can reach out and connect with me in an instant through the rain at a stop light while my car is moving."
I let it go, since the moment was moving by so fast, but I won't soon forget her. What was funny was that my mind was wining, "How are you going to be able to eat lunch now? You know you don't have enough money in the bank to pull cash from the ATM, and they don't take credit at the cafeteria!" It was as if my mind was trying to punish me for listening to my soul instead of it. However, within a fraction of a second, my soul replied, "Tim, they provide free lunch in the infusion center, and they have offered you free lunch before, you'll be fine." Again, I laughed because if I had reacted to my mind and withdrawn from the chance, thinking I could only get food today through one way, my fear would have won out, and a girl would be standing in the rain with a chunk less cash, and I'd still be getting fed.
I'm not swimming in cash currently due to the 6 month hiatus I took from working, but I ask you, who needed that twenty today more, her or me? If you find yourself thinking that standing in the rain at a exit ramp of a freeway the best way you're going to get money for what you need, you are having tougher times than me, and I'll help every time. Don't care where the money goes, it was God's anyway.
Fast forward to lunch time. I am in the infusion center, and before I even think about food, one of the AWESOME nurses grabs me and says something to the effect of, "Did you try the clam chowder yet?" I'm thinking that's the soup they are serving, but she corrects me, "No, one of our patients brought in a VAT of amazing New England clam chowder! Here, follow me!" She leads me into a tiny room - the same tiny room I store my rain coat - and shows me the vat of soup and the giant bag of rolls to go with it! Sure enough, a patient had brought in a full-on commercial grade vat of the tastiest, stick-to-your-ribs and warm-your-bones clam chowder I've ever had.
Folks, I grew up in Connecticut. I KNOW New England Clam Chowder! There ain't NOTHIN' better than a bowl of that stuff on a miserable rainy day like today was! No offense, socal, but I have low expectations of anyone's attempt at NECC, but this guy NAILED IT! It was soooooo good.
Didn't need that twenty after all.
Okay, there are literally SIX MORE STORIES from today alone, but I just don't have it in me to write them all out in one blog post, and you don't want that much, as much as you love being here.... hahaha. So, I'm going to share one a day for the next six days, and if more come along the way, we'll just have to double up.
You know, I used to write "Providence Story of the Day," way back when Bella was born. No what I realized today? I used to think that I got one Providence moment per day... like an allotment or ration. No what I realized today? I am the one who said that. Therefore, when "the" story of the day would happen to me, I thought that was all I was gonna get that day. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited I got one a day, and never for a second wondered why I didn't get more. Today I realized that God's Providence is all around me, just WAITING for its chance to shine upon me. The only limits are the ones I PUT ON GOD, not the other way around. I was honestly exhausted by 4:30 today just trying to be with the fact that no less than SEVEN phenomenal stories of God's love showered down upon me today.
Do you allow for God's hand in your life daily? How many acts of his Grace do you consider yourself worthy enough to receive per day? Ever notice who made that up?
My friends, the lids we place on our selves, on others, ON GOD... they are clear, but they are there.
What lids will you be removing in 2011? DECLARE IT HERE. You have an audience of committed listeners here who know you, love you, and will stand for you that it be so.
What lids will YOU be removing in 2011?