I checked in at the desk for my routine scan and looked around for a seat in the waiting room. There was only one other person in the waiting room, but she was something else. Larger than life with hot pink hair, a floral patterned silk bomber jacket, camo leggings, a jangle of bracelets, and silver sequined high tops. She looked like an anime drawing come to life. “Why,” I thought, “would anyone come to the radiologist dressed up like that?” Looking down at my own sensible black pants, plain shirt, and jewelry-less hands, I watched as she was called back to start her appointment.
I was in the waiting room long enough to have forgotten the brightly decorated woman, my mind having turned back to my to-do lists and what I was going to have for lunch. Finally I got called back to a dressing room, was handed a pair of plain scrubs to change into, and given the key to the locker that would store my plain clothes until the test was over. As I came out into the next waiting area in the ill-fitting scrubs, there she was again. This time, though, she looked smaller than life. Stripped of her clothes and accessories, all that stood out was her bright pink hair. She looked like she had shrunk, like the clothes had been propping her up, bringing her to life, infusing her with confidence. My heart flooded with compassion for her and suddenly her outfit made sense.
I’ve spent enough time with those facing medical crises to know that for every routine scan there are scans that confirm worst fears and scans that change lives forever. Remembering that, I wondered, why wouldn’t you dress up to come to the radiologist? Why wouldn’t you add as much bold, life giving style as you could right up until the moment you put on nondescript scrubs to see what secrets lie inside your body that the naked eye can’t see? Why wouldn’t you wear something wild and wonderful to counterbalance the waiting and worrying? Why wouldn’t you go big in the face of uncertainty? By the time my own test finished and I got to put my plain clothes back on she was already gone. But I can’t stop wondering, what was she wearing when she heard her results?
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
Good and Gracious God, we give you thanks for the gifts of creation. Make us wise stewards, compassionate guardians, and powerful advocates for all that you have made. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.