Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Undivided Self

South Jordan has morphed itself into quite a pleasantry. There is an area near the public library that is especially nice; it harbors four wrought iron swings under a tall gazebo and a sizable fountain of cool water. It is here that I became acquainted with Jacob.
I was sitting on one of the swings-- filling out my Hobby Lobby job application and talking on the phone-- when a minuscule girl and boy with dark hair and eyes crept up behind me and began to pelt me with unexpectedly friendly questions. I answered them kindly, and even ventured a few of my own. I learned their names were Isaac and Isabella, they hailed from California near a lake, and they are in town for the rest of this week to visit their cousins.
About halfway through the Hobby Lobby application, another child toddled towards me-- from the front this time. He had a grim expression on his face and he said with nonchalant melancholy,
"Izzy? I think I hurt my foot."
He had indeed. His second toe had been viciously slashed open by a glass bottle left near the fountain. The tendon was exposed, and blood oozed and bubbled profusely from it, dribbling menacingly onto the hot, white pavement.
Without warning, an undeniable motherly, nurturing instinct pushed me off the phone and off the swing. I grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the library.
"Come with me, hon" I said, quickening my pace, "let's try to find some bandages to stop the bleeding."
The librarian behind the counter was not pleased with me, or the little bleeding boy staining the carpet. She handed me two very large and awkward looking bandages, and I pulled my diminutive patient into the ladies restroom where I promptly set him on the counter and began washing his foot with soap and water. It was a horrible sight. Not only was the skin completely ripped off his toe, but a long and open sore ran along the full length of his foot pad. I asked him questions and talked to him to keep him calm, and afterwards I tried to wipe some of the blood off of his legs and feet and hands.
I'm not quite sure exactly what happened after that. Isabella and Isaac went next door to get their mother, and I decided it was time for me to quietly make my exit for Hobby Lobby. But as I left they all smiled and said,
"Thank you for helping us, lady!"

Good Samaritan moments are probably more prominent than we would like to believe. Sometimes we choose not to accept them, but they are always available. There is a very basic human instinct that calls each of us to help a fellow brother-- especially when service is needed, and one not only knows their care is wanted, but required.
I left the library today spattered with blood, sweat, and worry. But I also secretly held that creepy Christmas-service-giving feeling in my heart.
It is the best feeling in the world.