Thursday, May 29, 2014

On each other's team.

image taken (by Ms. Turks) and shared with patient's permission

"And you know we're on each other's team."

~ Lorde


I saw him today in clinic. A resident physician had just signed him out to me and I was just popping in for a supervisory visit. All of it simple enough.

As soon as I walked in, I thought, I've seen this patient before. And that must have shown on my face because right as I thought that he spoke.

"Remember me?" he said.

I had to do a double take because I wasn't so sure. I cocked my head sideways and bit the inside of my cheek. For a moment, he looked a bit hurt by that. But then, in a snap, it all came back to me. I widened my eyes in disbelief. "No way."

"You remember now?"

"You were. . .wait. . .Team Better? Yes! Team Better!"

"Team BETTER!" he exclaimed. And literally we both jumped up and danced in that room.

"And look at you! You're better! You are!"

"I am! I am!"

I clapped my hands and squealed with delight. And honestly, right after that, I immediately felt like crying.

"I can tell you have a testimony." That's what the nurse, Ms. Turks, said when she saw our interaction. And he looked at me and smiled when she said that. I smiled back.

And so. Together we told Ms. Turks the story of "Team Better." I even pulled out my phone, loaded up my blog and read him an excerpt of the story he gave me permission to write about that experience. The very story he allowed me to share with all of you of Team Better. 

I surely did.

"You guys saved my life," he said.

And I said back, "No, you saved your life. We just agreed to join you in believing that you could."

"That made a big difference."

"It did for me, too." And I said that because it was true.

So this? This was simply a story of what can happen when someone looks at you and treats you with an expectation that you can and will win. Win over whatever it is holding you back. For him, it was a serious illness that threatened to keep him bed bound and disabled for the rest of his young life. For someone else, it might be something altogether different. That expectation led him to fight for his life which, in a way, we all are doing every single day.

So here is what I want to know:

Who's Team Better are you on? Who's Team Better should you be on? And tell me, who is on your Team Better? The one rooting for you? Are you on it? Are you? Remember--my patient was the most important member of that team during his hospitalization--but it all started with someone speaking life into him. Life. Not death. Not disability. Not despair. Not dead ends. Life. 

Man. We search and search for the panacea to what ails us when sometimes it just comes down to the energy we draw and receive. What life we speak into ourselves and others. And a lot of that is a choice. Our choice, yes. But also the choice of those around us. And those choices can be life or death. They can. If this man taught me nothing else, he showed me the power of intention. When there is intention, that energy is greater, more powerful.

Yes, it is.

We wrapped up the visit and I headed to the door. The mood was light and you could tell that everyone felt happy inside. That feel-good energy was filling every crevice of the room.

"Still Team Better, right?" I held out my balled up hand to give him a celebratory fist bump.

He smiled big, wide and genuine. Then he leaned forward to let his knuckles touch mine. "No doubt, Miss Manning," he said. "No doubt."

I cried the minute I got on the other side of the door. I surely did.

Because this? This is the real Grady. Humanity and hope woven tightly into fleeting moments and unforgettable testimonies day after day after day. . . . and grace personified.


Happy Thursday. (This serves as your Thursday huddle, Team S.J.G.R.)

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .and now yours.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

And still she rises.

 Maya Angelou
(April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.  

~ Maya Angelou


Thank you for your inspiration, Sister Maya. Congratulations on a life well lived and spiritual gifts realized, built upon and liberally shared. Your life of intention serves as a mentoring guide to many--including me.

And now as you rest, amazement awaits. May you continue to beat your wing and sing your song high in the heavens forever more.


Happy Wednesday. Are you aware of your gifts? Are you using them?

The classic, of course, that all colored girls have recited in their mirrors . . . . .

. . .unless, of course, they were reciting this one instead. . . . 

An absolutely outstanding word from the wise Ms. Angelou. . . .

. . .and this. . . .amazement awaits.


Ms. Maya? Girlfriend, you DID that. This song playing on my mental iPod is just for you. Well done, good and faithful servant.