What happens when an introvert agrees to meet with an extrovert? Joy. Surprise. And an unexpected blessing.
Thanks to a dear friend who has helped me out tremendously in organizing this KNOWvember, I was able to Shenary, a doctor with a family practice in Florida. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure this was going to happen.
At first, getting her on my calendar took longer than I wanted it to. And when she texted me this morning asking questions about what this how thing was about, I was sure she was looking for a way out.
As it turns out, Shenary got tired with being a part of the industry healthcare system (a system of seeing as many patients in a day to increase billing). So, she left it to become a direct primary care physician. What does that mean? For starters, she doesn’t accept insurance. Instead, her patients pay a monthly fee directly to her for ongoing care. Not only did it free her from the dealing with the massive bureaucracy of the health care industry but it also gave her time to be with patient. Now, on average, she often spins about an hour with each patient versus the typical 8 minutes most of us get.
In the hour she gave to me over the phone, we both were surprised to discover that we had more in common than just a friend who connected us for this experiment. For example, we both once lived in Michigan. Around the same time Shenary made her way to Florida to finish her education, I was on my way out of that state to pursue mine. We both have sons roughly the same age, both of whom have “hairy little man legs.”
I asked her if she sail, and again discovered more commonality. Just like my parents had done for us, she and her husband bought a used Hobie Cat for their kids to sail on the lake behind their house. And for the record neither Shenary or I have ever shot a crossbow. But we both like the same Muppet. “Oh, I’m a legit Kermit fan.”
Now, I like Kermit because I admire his inquisitive mind, his never-ending search for goodness in others, and how he is always faithful to who he is. Shenary likes him because she likes frogs. Her favorite books growing up were the Frog and Toad series, which, believe it or not are still my favorite children’s stories.
When she asked what I did for a living, I told her. I’m like you in that I take care of other people’s health. But instead of it being their physical wellbeing, I care for their spiritual wellbeing. This opened the door for us to discuss our faith, and the many ways God has made our hearts tender, and the ways we have experienced a truly abundant life. We’re both ministers in our own unique way. I deal with the spiritual causes of people’s health, and she with “the physical manifestations of the spiritual aches and pains.”
In a way we are all caretakers in our own way. Kindness and compassion are the medicines and healing balms we all need and desire. Not every wound is healed quickly or with one quick trip to see the doctor. Some take time, and faithful attention. I was blessed that Shenary gave me her time to share her story, her faith, and her kindness. When it was all said and done, those little spiritual aches and pains I was experiencing just seemed to go away. I’m glad she not only answered her calling, but that she also answered my call.