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Friday, September 14, 2012

Back in the Real World

It was wonderful to be back at St. Anthony’s Parrish, located one block from my parents’ home. I visited the priest to ask about bible Studies but they still didn’t do them. I missed our Tuesday night group in Colorado a lot. I needed to find some place to continue studying the Bible; but, in the meantime, I worked on it alone.

One week, after Mass, I ran into a lady who worked at the hospital in a nearby city. I had asked her if she knew any nursing homes where I might find a summer job.

“Well, why not come work at the hospital? We have a car pool from here to Deaconess Hospital and you could get a ride with us.”

“Well, I’ve only ever worked at a nursing home. I don’t think I could get a job as an Aide at the hospital, could I?” I began to get nervous just remembering how frightening it was to be interviewed for a job for which my only training had been in my aunt’s kitchen. (See the post, Summer Jobs 1, Scene 2 )

“Of course you could! You do the same things. Get yourself down there and apply. They’ll show you what you need to know if you don’t already know something.”

So, I prayed and headed for the Personnel Department. (Isn’t it funny how many things have changed… they now call those places the office of Human Resources and one must have a paper showing that one is a Certified Nurses Aide to get a job in either a nursing home or hospital. The latter change is, no doubt, a good one.) I was thrilled to be hired on the spot and shown where to purchase my all pink uniform dress. White stockings and shoes must also be worn but, at least, no cap.

My zeal for both learning and talking about God continued. The people who worked with me thought I was a bit much for a Catholic, and I reckon they were right. Joining the other nursing staff spread out in the various patient rooms with a Westside window on July 20, 1969, I stared at the moon, knowing that at that very moment, there was a man up there walking around. I just couldn’t contain my delight at what God had let them accomplish.

“Oh, c’mon now, Sojourner. God didn’t put those men up there, NASA did. If God would have done it, angels would have just swooped them up and that would have saved the taxpayers a lot of money. Yu can’t really give God credit for this one.” The rest of the people on break laughed and chortled in agreement with my Head Nurse.

“All good things come from God, the Bible says so. Don’t you think this is a good thing they have done? I mean, no one else has ever done it. Besides, who do you think gave them the brains to figure it all out? Who do you think put the idea to even try in someone’s mind?” All chatter stopped while they reached for a comeback line. “There is only one explanation, God did it.”

“Well, I couldn’t agree more.” All heads turned to look at V. The Ward Clerk on our 4-Midnight shift had heard me as she came over to the table. She was also in our car pool so I was getting to know her a bit.

“Oh no, now there’s two of them! Everything has God’s hand in it somewhere with V and now even the new Aid thinks so? Brother!” Everyone laughed at the nurse’s remark, but some even agreed that it might just be so; they weren’t the ones who knew who put the idea to even try in anyone’s mind, let alone the “how to.” I was thrilled to have learned that V. loved to speak of God, too. I made a mental note to talk with her more later.

How I enjoyed the times when the others in our car pool had the day off and it was just the two of us sharing what the Lord was doing in our lives. She had been born again so long before I had and knew a lot more than I did. Sadly, at that time, their Bible Study groups were in the evening so I couldn’t go. Her church was building a new sanctuary and in the years to come would be located right across the street from my parents’ home! (Yes, that’s right, across the street to the north was the Assembly of God Church, one block to the south was St. Anthony’s Parrish, one block to the west was St. John’s Lutheran Church, and a few blocks to the south past the Catholic Church was the United Methodist Church where I had attended Sunday School and the youth Fellowship Groups. Was this a great location or what?)

This first year of my twenties, and new life in Christ, was riddled with changes, certainly more than I had expected. I kept my job at the hospital throughout the rest of this year, changed schools to the one in the same city as the hospital, listed my major as something totally non-science and studied things like Political Science, Abnormal Psychology, Criminology and something that sounded like religion but turned out not to be.

On three days of the work-week, my schedule was grueling. Leaving for school early in the morning, returning home just in time to iron my uniform and hop back in a car to head for the evening shift at the hospital really kept this young body moving. I studied a few hours before going to sleep, which is one positive effect of still being wired when finishing work at midnight. The other two days weren’t so intense, because I had to work a lot of the weekend shifts, leaving the evenings open to study or hang out.

Then, one of the biggest changes was proposed and, perhaps, the decision made too hastily? One just gets swept up sometimes. I had begun to ask God about decisions in my life but I was, pretty much, still sitting on Square One when it came to social issues. I had so much still to learn!

****Have a great weekend!

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