How do you imagine yourself spending your Saturday mornings? Sleeping in? Enjoying a large breakfast and vegging out to some television while you relax? Some of us who are more active might wake up early to venture out on a hike or tackle a list of chores. Then there are those who are willing to accompany the ones they love for no other reason than to be supportive.
John, a guest at Compassion Vancouver did just that for his wife.
Recently retired, John and his wife are without insurance benefits. He is old enough to qualify for Medicaid; however, his wife is a few years too young. She was out of options as all the coverage possibilities they looked into were simply too expensive to sustain. So, even though he joked about the fact he would rather be at home in front of the TV, he sat there patiently waiting. He had never been to a clinic and was surprised with the fluidity of the morning so far and all the services offered. Some available brochures gave him some good reading material to help the time pass, and also offered valuable information he wanted to share later with his friends.
The peace in having patience at the clinic was witnessed during lunch as well after a morning of waiting to get called. One table with a mixture of volunteers and guests was full of laughter over the provided meal and wasn’t a bit bothered about the wait even to get food. While they exchanged compliments and appreciation, the real love of Jesus was present as relationships were born between strangers.
Of course, the Bible has a lot to say about the goodness that comes from having patience and spreading hope.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.”
“To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
And so in the future, whether we walk through the doors as a volunteer or a guest, a friend or a newcomer, we must remember to bring our patience with us. John’s patience for his wife gives a lesson for us all. Even outside the clinics, there will never be an immediate solution or permanent fix for the many trials we face. So we need to utilize the patience inside us to accept hardships we face and to overcome our circumstances, whatever they may be. That’s where we would like to step in to inspire, and now use John and other guests to inspire. It’s always wonderful to hear that guests find a need met in our clinic and that their only comment would be for the clinics to be continued. It’s an inspiration for churches to keep working together, in all the ways they can benefit the community.
One of the guests at the lunch table requested, “Compassion [Connect] just needs to keep having these clinics. I know people that come to all of them, and I make it to as many as I can because I rely on them. I’m fine with waiting my turn because these are a gift.”
The gift we see at the clinics is the space they provide for growing relationships, with one another and Jesus. Everyone who walks through brings something to offer. It may be as small as a smile, a funny joke, or just a pair of scissors for a free haircut. But regardless of how contagious your laugh is, be aware what the Lord has provided for you to share with patience and hope to strengthen others.
And waiting is a major part of the clinics, especially the large clinics with an increased audience reach. When there is patience, we should fill the gaps of time by learning more about one another, and reaching deeper to witness the truth and offer help. There is waiting for dental, medical, hair and foot care, along with the chiropractic and massage rooms. Including patience as a part of our model, people will find the comfort and acceptance they are seeking in addition to the answers to their medical needs. This is exactly what we hope to achieve.