Of all the occasions when I have found myself sitting with parishioners and families in the hospital waiting room, this is the first time this has ever happened to me! Right before surgery we were making light of the situation – joking and laughing in order to ease the tension which was obvious. The volunteer walked up to us (looking directly at me) smiling and said, “We love you, but you need to keep it down!”
Was I mad? No. Maybe a little embarrassed, but mostly I was amused. I have never before been called down in a waiting room. One of the “gifts” God seems to plague me with is the need and ability to discover something theological in every encounter in my life. So, after this incident I found myself asking, “Where is God in this scenario?”
“I love you, but keep it down.” I think that we, as children of God, need to be reminded when we act up. So easily we get caught in a moment and lost in what immediately is happening that we lose sight of the world around us. We can be disruptive, rowdy, and maybe obnoxious. We can be hurtful, mean, insensitive and myopic. There are times when God gives us a message and lovingly puts us in our place.
God sometimes finds ways to gently, tenderly and also directly challenge us by reminding us of being broken and out of line. We need to pay attention when our Lord does this and ponder over it. Knowing that we are loved and we are forgiven enables us to continue on while learning from the lesson.
I give thanks for this wonderful volunteer who had the courage to confront us. More importantly, I give thanks to our creator who has no qualms to tell us, “I love you, but keep it down.”