Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The beauty of healing

Since spending the past nine days visiting UK hospital nearly every day, we’ve had plenty of time to admire the photo mural in the lobby.  We sometimes walk by it several times a day. 

The wall’s covered with photos of life being lived normally—there’s a man on a tractor and a blonde toddler sitting at the top of a playground slide.  There’s a cat sunning itself on a fence.  There are pictures of falling leaves and a slow moving stream. 

These images are reassuring. They are reminders of more carefree days, and they stir hope that times will be better again soon. 

The artwork in the hospital lobby no doubt cost a lot of money.  Besides the photo board, there are sculptures and a large water feature that produces a soothing sound.

Occasionally a volunteer tinkles the ivories on the piano in the lobby. 

Some might argue that these expenditures were frivolous, but I’ve found that they brighten my spirits.  They bring color to long days spent within beige walls in the company of strangers.

I’ve noticed a lot of other folks pausing to admire the artwork.  I’ve seen them smiling too.

I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the photos as much if I’d only been here for a short visit with someone I expected would be coming home soon. 

However, when dealing with a crisis like this, the art has been calming.  I’m glad someone argued for the extra dollars to put it there. 

Come to think of it, I’m appreciating a lot of things more these days.  Like people who invest their lives in the healing of others.  Like those who figure out how to build an ECMO machine that functions as our baby grandson’s lungs until his are capable of working with the help of a ventilator. 

Today was a big day, another tense day of waiting, but we are thanking God that little Clay is off the ECMO machine.  His lungs are tiny and inefficient at this point, but I’m so happy to report that he’s made it past another hurdle. 

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