Last Tuesday at a reception for those who gave time or money for the Sing for Hope benefit for Bering Omega, a-getting-much-closer-to-friend-than-just-acquaintance asked how I’d come to work at Omega House. I gave the factoid answer and then explained that when I first worked there – in fact for more than 3 years of the commitment – I stuck primarily to indirect care of washing clothes and cleaning bathrooms. I had this embarrassing reaction to bodily fluids – I gagged. And it was very obvious. So I figured that didn’t make for too great of a bedside manner and declined the direct care that would have me changing diapers, giving baths, etc.
Then one day we were busy and a couple of my cohorts asked if I could help with a bed bath. I decided to do so. And as I wiped the white cloth over the ashy gray skin of the resident and the skin became like new, I was overwhelmed with the sense that this was a holy moment, a holy act.
When I shared the story at the party, my friend said, “Thank you so much for sharing that.” Then he relayed two stories of supernatural occurrences in his life that he had often refrained from telling because he thought folks would be as cynical as him. When he concluded, he told me, “Because you told what you did, I wonder if I couldn’t relook at some of my own experiences. Thank you again.”
In our cynical world, that was kind of a neat moment.