Journal entry by Vicki Bunke
When it came to her illness, Grace drew the short straw. But when it came to those chosen to treat her illness, she hit the jackpot. Toward the end of her life, it proved to be more than challenging to make her comfortable and address her pain. At some point, it was decided that only those who knew Grace best would be in charge of her care. What did this mean? This meant that I saw either Melissa (her nurse practitioner) or Dr. Wasilewski every single day. Including weekends. And often, more than once a day. Including weekends.
On March 24th, Melissa and Dr. Wasilewski visited Grace. They determined it was unlikely for her to live to see her 15th birthday (March 26). As such, Kelly Brumbeloe graciously spent the night with us in Grace’s hospital room. March 25th happened to be Palm Sunday. Knowing that Grace was likely to die that day and that it would be meaningful to us as a family, Dr. Wasilewski stopped by a church on the way to the hospital early that morning. As I understand the story, Dr. Wasilewski entered the church and was greeted by a church employee. She explained why she was there so early. She shared that she was on the way to the hospital where she was caring for a young girl who was likely to die that day. She stated that she was hoping to bring this girl’s family a palm. The following exchange ensued:
Church employee: “You will have to come back. We haven’t had a chance to bless the palms.”
Dr. Wasilewski: “But, I don’t think you understand. I am on the way to the hospital. My patient is dying. I can’t come back later.”
Church employee: “I am sorry, but I can’t give you a palm. They haven’t been blessed yet.”
They haven’t been blessed yet.
In other words, they aren’t perfect enough to give to you.
How many of us are guilty of this type of thinking and behavior? Hands up if you have ever fallen into this trap of waiting for life or things or situations or people to be perfect before living or doing or giving or acting in some manner? How many of us won’t pass out the palms until they are blessed?
Too often, we wait for the perfect time, the perfect situation, the perfect weather, when things “settle down,” when “I have time,” or when it’s convenient. But guess what? The time is never going to perfect, neither is the weather or your situation or your circumstances. And you will never have the time, nor will it ever be convenient.
I have learned that life must be lived under imperfect conditions and during imperfect situations. In fact, I am convinced that this is exactly how life is meant to be experienced. Throughout the Bible, God used imperfect people and imperfect circumstances. Why? Because no other kind are available.
Don’t wait to travel until the journey seems possible.
Don’t wait to love until others seem loveable.
Don’t wait to forgive until others seem forgivable.
Don’t wait to climb until the mountain seems surmountable.
Don’t wait to dream until it seems plausible.
Don’t wait to achieve until it seems attainable.
And don’t wait to get a new puppy until it seems manageable (well maybe wait on this one – kidding – we love you, Raye!).
And always pass out the palms, even when they haven’t been blessed. I happen to think the act of passing out an unblessed palm blesses everyone, including the palm.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)