I felt happy that day in my brand new outfit . . . so nurse-like and professional . . .
But then, she burst through the office door—a short round bundle of wet, wrinkled, sand-covered clothes. Her face was sweaty, her hair damp and tangled, her nose runny and her red-rimmed eyes streaming. As I turned in my chair to greet her, she launched her 5-year-old body into my lap. Between sobs she managed to say, “I fell off the monkey bars . . . I peed.”
As Lizzie settled in, I felt the wetness through my lightweight navy slacks. Her sandy arms and wet face pressed against my crisp white blouse. The odor of urine was strong.
A confession: At that moment I did not feel caring concern! I actually felt the urge to push her off my lap. Lizzie needed my arms around her in comfort, my encouragement to tell her story, my help in bathing and selecting some clean donated clothing from my closet. She needed a fresh start to her day.
Oh, I’d like to tell you it was my compassion that led me to do the things Lizzie needed—but, in my confession I must tell you—it was the universal love you and I share in this world. It is a powerful unconditional love, which strengthens us as we care for one another, when we feel inadequate or even repulsed.
Held for a while on my lap, bathed and dressed in fresh clothes, hair combed, Lizzie smiled broadly, ran out the door and yelled back, “Thanks, Nurse Flemr.”
I too needed some cleaning up as I reflected upon the morning miracle.