Last week, I wrote about the satisfaction that comes from edifying others with the words we speak/letters we write/texts we send. On the morning I finalized that column, I had asked God to let me be a blessing to someone.
Little did I expect Him to use a medical professional, phoning me to update my personal information. Following questions about my insurance, she forewarned me that she would ask three questions that I did not have to answer, should I found them uncomfortable; nevertheless, she was obligated to ask. All dealt with my sexuality: what sex I am; if I was born that sex; if I prefer to be referred to as that sex.
I answered each question and then told her that I did not envy her having to ask those questions. She said,” You have no idea” which—for some reason—I found funny. She began giggling and said that I was the first person to make her laugh after answering those sensitive questions. I was a “breath of fresh air” because most people lecture her about how God made man and woman, shaming her for bringing up such “nonsense.” She spoke about their angered outbursts and “if everyone knew how difficult it is” to ask those questions—questions she was mandated to ask–perhaps they would be kinder.
I asked, “So Christians are the hardest on you?” Affirmative.
“Well, I’m a Christian, and I have some advice,” I responded. “The next time they bark at you, ask them what one identifying characteristic marks a Christian. Remind them, if they don’t know, that the answer is ‘love,’ and question if they are demonstrating love in the way they are talking to you. That oughta do it.” We both got tickled, and then she reminded me that, should she follow my advice, she would be looking for a new job. I told her that I wouldn’t last 30 seconds in her position. And we laughed some more.
At the end of our conversation, she stated that I had made her day. I shared that I had asked God in my morning prayer time to let me be a blessing to someone, and I was glad that she was the beneficiary. She shared that she was too.
Christians, we need to pick our battles. This young gal, frustrated that she was given such a task, knew that it was less messy for someone on the phone to take the abuse than a receptionist or nurse. By giving this information ahead of time, she explained, once in the doctor’s office, the patient would be referred to with the correct pronoun, so as to avoid public embarrassment. Sadly, the attempt to respect someone’s dignity caused this caller’s dignity to be demeaned.
I doubt that my caller felt closer to Jesus after the outbursts of her Bible-thumping patients. When something clearly isn’t someone’s fault, why should he/she be the recipient of a “Christian” tongue-lashing? She has no choice in how she responds; her job is to treat her attackers kindly.
I think you and I both know which one exudes the more Christlike character.