Bray and I walked into the surgery center Thursday afternoon. I couldn’t believe my surroundings – this was the fanciest waiting room I’d ever seen. Chandeliers. Leather chairs. Modern chaises.
Once I’d finished signing a stack of papers, the friendly nurse escorted me back to the pre-op area and promised to bring Bray back as soon as I was prepped.
After answering every medical question possible, she slid the curtains closed and instructed me to change.
Looking around, I realized no matter how fancy the exterior waiting room, the inside guts of surgery areas are the same no matter where you go. Blue paper gown. (Nice blue paper gown with warming lining, but paper gown nonetheless.) Beige gripper socks. Narrow stretcher. Screens with beeping machines on both sides.
I lay there with thoughts wandering to all the sorrow in the news lately.
As I laid there with no makeup, jewelry, and clothes and waited for a person to come and wheel me back to the OR, I thought about how stripping it all away might solve everything.
I know that can sound out of touch and idealistic. (But I am a little idealistic.)
There were all sorts of other people that came in and out of surgery that day, but there are absolutely no indications of your position in life while laying on a stretcher. No one can tell if you are single or married. Wealthy or poor. Employed or unemployed. Seriously ill or just in need of a tune up.
You can’t tell if you’re dripping in diamonds or just filed for bankruptcy while you’re unconscious in a paper gown. You can’t tell if you’ve sold a million books or can barely spell a million when someone is investigating your bone fragments.
Skin, blood, bone, well it all looks the same underneath.
We are all the same underneath.
What if we just remember we are all the same. Our bodies work, or fail, in the same way.
I still can’t wrap my head around what happened in Charleston, but I believe if we start going into other people’s churches and sit in the pews and pray with the unknown person next to us, instead of hating or judging or avoiding them, we can radically change the face of our country.
It’s the new model.
Every Wednesday night, we could pretend we’re going in for surgery (because it’s going to take a massive soul surgery to turn this country’s ailments around). Remove every single artifice you’re wearing: it’s not just your make up and jewelry, but it’s also prejudice and misconceptions. Then walk into a church where you don’t know anyone. And start praying next to the person in the front pew.
What if we allow the news of today to serve as the doctor’s prognosis which demands immediate action?