I spend significant time in the waiting rooms of my several doctors. It struck me recently that this was a time that could be repurposed for godly purposes, and hence redeemed! The time in a waiting room time can be a way to restore spirits, dispel distressing emotions or rescue your fullest spiritual identity.
People watching prayers
The weight of illnesses or continuing medical conditions sits heavily on waiting room physiques and psychologies. As you watch other patients, try to imagine—and pray for—their best selves. See if you can determine what their accompanying family members or friends appreciate about them. Imagine them as your friends.
Gratitude for medical professionals
Watch the receptionists, clerks or nurses’ assistants. See how they exhibit kindness, understanding, humor and care. Thank God for them by thanking them for their service. Be specific.
Courtesy and civility
Shut off your Smartphone. If someone seems to want to have a conversation, participate in that gracious act of self-giving. Don’t eat, don’t talk loudly, don’t butt into private moments. Smile and look at others with appreciation—they can see those emotions in your eyes.
Enumerate all the grace you’re receiving: How many times you are thanked or carefully listened to; the number of eye-pleasing items, plants, flowers, bright windows, helpful signage, informational pamphlets or people who smile back. Enjoy the sounds you hear—or maybe the silence?
A time of rest
Close your eyes and take a semi-nap. Meditate, pray or just breathe slowly inside of your relaxed body. Let tension dissipate into the air, and regain calm—even if this visit might bring with it some possible worry or difficulty. Regroup your emotions into helpful/hopeful clusters.
Add your ideas to these observations, and you may find a pleasant surprise:
Redemption in a waiting room…!