Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I don't want to be a bathroom door

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

I was sitting out by the river this morning reminiscing about the ride.

One of the things that came to mind was the question, “What do you think about all day on a bike?”

I do not carry a radio or anything that will distract me; I like to ride along just thinking about things, I never seem to get bored with my thoughts. During our ride, we rode through Navaho Nation and my thoughts went to them. How they feel that they are living in occupied territory. The feeling of their hopeless situation is ever present.

I thought about them a lot.

I also thought about bathrooms, more aptly bathroom doors.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why they open to the inside of the bathroom.

One only goes to the bathroom during a time of need.

I only go to the bathroom during a time of need; I do not go to the bathroom to just be there. When I enter the bathroom, I push the door open and walk in. I do what I came to do, wash my hands, dry my hands and turn to leave. This is when I notice that there is a pull handle on the door. The handle is either brass or stainless steel, depending on the bathroom.

Now I have a dilemma, there is no way of getting out of the bathroom without touching the handle, which will just get my hands really germy again. If there is a paper towel, I can grab one and use that to open the door, but sometimes there is nothing but a hot air machine, which leaves very few options and requires some imagination on how to open the door. There have been times where I had to wait for someone to walk through the door so that I could grab it with my foot, kick the door open, and walk out.

I have come to the conclusion that architects must have poor hygiene.

I have many people that walk into my office at the YMCA.

These people do not come to my office to just be there, they come in because they have a need. Often times they sit in the “chair” and recount a hurtful experience. Many times, they went to see someone about their problems and before they left they felt germier than when the first went to see them.

I have a library in my office.

Staff and members come in and grab a book.

I have a rule; there are no books in my library that I have not read.

This way people can read a book and then we can discuss it together. One of the staff is reading Philip Yancey’s “What’s so amazing about grace.” There is a story in the book where a woman who had had a pretty rough life and made some pretty bad choices and was contemplating suicide. A counselor asked her, “Have you tried going to church?” Her response was, “Why would I go there? I feel bad enough already.”

I think about that statement often.

When I talk with people, there are times I have to correct them, I do my very best to do this with love.

I really do not want to be a bathroom door in someone’s life.

I want them to feel the cleansing power of Christ.

Not the germy feeling of judgment and self righteousness.


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