St. Mary's in Springfield offers solace and soul to people who have lost their way. The founding vicar Sue Carmichael was anointed with the gifts of healing and serving, and her love was contagious and contiguous; she kept people relatively safe and together linked by God's profound love.
One time word got back to the church that their "Billy" had been killed. Billy was one of the parishioners who was always in and out of trouble, just skirting the edge of survival, and full of addictions and demons. The tragic news that Billy had died was heavy on everyone's hearts, until Sue discovered that their Billy was alive and well, but in jail. Sue's response was that, even though it was not "their Billy," it was somebody's Billy who had been killed.
In 2002, our oldest son Will had a motorcycle accident and the first report I got was that he was being airlifted to Shands Hospital. As my sister-in-law drove me to the hospital, I feared the worst and had difficulty breathing. But when we arrived, we quickly learned that Will was going to be fine. Shands is right around the corner from St. Mary's, and my subsequent thought was somebody's Will wouldn't be fine after such an accident.
Now in the face of our recent experience with baby Lane, having been with him on the third floor of Wolfson's Children's Hospital for two weeks, I am very aware that, though our baby is well and home, not all babies are home and well. And like Sue, I think back to the manger and love of God that is present with them and their families as they struggle through the heartbreak of losing the fight. This post is for the babies and children on the third floor fighting for their lives and for their families for whom "a little bit of kindness is the least that I can give."
I see you on the corner picking through the trash
you meet me in the parking lot asking for some cash
I see you in the soup line waiting for a meal
I hear you chatter to an unseen presence you think real
And I ponder
You are somebody’s baby somebody’s girl somebody’s heart ache somebody’s world
And I wonder where you come from and I wonder where you’ve been
and I think back to the manger when no room was in the inn
And I wonder how you got here and I wonder how you live
And a little bit of kindness is the least that I can give.
I see your shoes are tattered your shirt a dirty red
I see you Sipping something in a paper bag
I See you on the highways faces worn and full of strain
I see you under the overpasses waiting out the rain.