Friday, December 02, 2005

Today in the waiting room

I took my older brother in to the hospital for day surgery. The waiting room is huge, and it is the same room I spent 3 days in last March while my mother died. I wasn't looking forward to sitting there today. As I registered at the desk and got my beeper, I heard beautiful singing - quiet and many, many voices. Off to the side (well actually one whole side) of the room were between 30 and 40 Amish people. I have no idea who they were there for, or what had happened (although there was a nasty accident last night where a buggy was hit by a truck), but they were there to support someone. They sat in a huge circle holding hands, singing. Since the Amish here speak the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, the words of the songs weren't important as much as the sound...at least to me.I sat near enough to not be distracted by all the other small groups of people sitting and talking, but far enough not to intrude. Eventually a man stood at the head of the circle and started to pray in English. He prayed for all the people in the hospital, for all the family members, and for everyone touched by hardship or tragedy. No fire and brimstone, just a request for a blessing and peace...After that, they continued singing while taking turns going to see the person they were there to care for. It was very moving to see so many people caring so deeply and gathering in that place to do what they could. It completely changed the way I felt in that room. It was really beautiful.

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