Posted: January 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

My grandbaby was born last month; my son Caleb and I made the 9-hour trip down to Kentucky for proper introductions and snuggling over the holidays.  When I scheduled the trip, I expected that the family would be out of the hospital and all settled in by the time we arrived.  Jaundice changed those plans; we learned as we drove that we’d need to stop by the hospital if we wanted to see them that first night.  

I can remember when hospital visiting hours seemed quite ironclad and non-negotiable.  But when my daughter Julia told the head nurse that we wouldn’t be arriving until quite late, she was flexible.  This was family.  And, as Julia said, “We are new parents.  We don’t sleep.”  So we were invited to come on up when we got to Lexington, despite it being hours past posted visiting times.  

But the security guy at the desk was not impressed when we walked in – and in fairness, the signs at the door were pretty adamant about not bending the maternity ward visiting times.  I tried to play it all cool, just telling him Julia’s name and not mentioning where they were in the hospital.  This did not work.  I told him we had called ahead and been okay’d by the head nurse.  He looked doubtful.  Not rude or obnoxious…just a guy trying to follow procedures, you know?

But finally, after calling the nurse and scanning our driver’s licenses and taking our pictures, he handed us each a sticker with our names and some other information on them, and pointed us down the hall.  

When we got in the elevator, Caleb looked at me and erupted into laughter.  “What the heck, mom?”  

I was mystified.  “What?”  

“Why did you put the sticker on your shirt?”

Huh?  Wasn’t it obvious?  “He GAVE it to me.”

He shook his head, still chuckling.  “Yeah, but he didn’t say you had to PUT IT ON!”  It didn’t help that in my tiredness and excitement I had put it on pretty much as crookedly as possible – neither a “portrait” nor a “landscape” setting, but something more akin to my own love of randomness.  

I stared at him, puzzled.  “Where is yours?”

“It’s in my pocket.  If someone needs to see it, they can ask for it.”


Compliant.  That’s what he called me, or I don’t know…maybe it’s what I called myself, somewhere amidst the ensuing conversation and teasing about it as we admired my grandbaby under the magical blue jaundice-healing lights.  

I thought of that yesterday while a friend shared a story about a coworker who went for a work physical.  The nurse came in, set something down, and said it would be a few minutes.  The patient assumed the “something” was a gown, so when the doctor entered the exam room, there she was, buck naked, struggling to put on this strange gown that was…wait for it…an exam table cover.  Hilarious to hear about the doctor’s dismay at finding her that way…”For God’s sake, put your clothes back on!”  

Compliant.  Ready to do what she was supposed to do.  So ready to do it, that she didn’t stop to think what she’d actually been told.  Great for a chuckle.  

Makes me wonder, pondering it this morning:  where else in life am I automatically doing something because I assume that’s what someone else wants of me?  How often do I strive for an “obedience” to something that I PRESUME God wants from me?  How often am I adhering to a rule that is not actually a rule, an instruction that was never given to me?

Worth considering.  Worth asking God to reveal to me.  

He’s all about that business of revelation, after all.  

  1. […] *not wanting others to think I was being bad* – as I’ve mentioned in a recent blog, I am a highly compliant person.  My uneasiness would have been that Gary or the Pastor or someone seated around me might think I […]

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