Human Dignity · Motherhood · Relationships · Uncategorized

The Power of a Single Visit

On the wall in the Tea Room at Elizabeth Ministry International.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Single Visit.  Growing up with Elizabeth Ministry, I’ve heard and read those words countless times without much afterthought.  It wasn’t until into my adulthood that I really started taking that sentiment to heart. After getting married, I moved 2 1/2 hours away from my hometown to join my husband in the city where he had recently started a new job.

(I know what you are thinking, 2 1/2 hours seems relatively close in the grand scheme of things. To give you perspective, though, I am an extreme homebody- to the tune of being a preschool drop-out because I could not handle the perils of being away for a few hours a week. I do want to report that I eventually went back, and after 5 years, I finally finished preschool! {I was the teacher, but that totally still counts, right?})  

Anyway, so there was newly-married me, in a town where I knew absolutely no-one. Having not found a job for myself yet, there would be days that went by without a single human-to-human interaction aside from saying hello to my husband as he awoke and went out the door to work his night shift.  While I had internet and my phone to communicate with friends and family, I craved the connection of a face-to-face conversation with someone.  As pathetic as this may sound, in those early days of social isolation, I found myself going on trips to the grocery store just to be out among other human beings and engage in brief small-talk with those I encountered.  Thankfully, (for the sake of my wallet and waistline) only a few weeks after moving, I landed a job (ironically, the preschool teacher gig) and quickly made friends with whom I didn’t have to peruse the produce aisle to interact with.

Becky with her grandpa and her children.

My grandfather has always been a man of many words and loves to sit and talk with people.  In these past 6 years since my grandma passed away, we have really made it a priority to make sure that someone from our (extended) family visits him daily.  I have always enjoyed spending time with him over the years, but our visits have become even more treasured and special as I am able to share the joy of my children (his great-grandchildren) with him.  He is living in a memory care facility, and often when we arrive, he is sitting alone in his room.  Even when he is in the darkest of moods, within a few minutes of interacting with us, especially the kids, his whole outlook is turned around and smiles and laughter fill his room.  The power of a visit.

Becky visiting friends.

Last weekend, I started out in a grouchy, negative mood.  My husband was working, the kids were fighting, the baby pooped through his outfit right as we were to head out the door for a cookout gathering of my grade-school friends. Traffic was not moving along as fast as I thought it should.  I was running late and out of patience.  As I traipsed my crew of disheveled, partially dressed, Cheetos-dusted, dish-to-pass adorning children into my friend’s house, I was still feeling a little out of sorts and overwhelmed.  Once I started talking, reminiscing and enjoying the company of my long-time pals, I could feel my mood and spirits lift.  We had a lovely afternoon together.  On the drive home, the chaos of life was still ever present, as I watched in the mirror shoes flying off the feet of my two year old, the tell tale rumbling sounds of another car-seat diaper blow-out and the loud, slightly off-key tunes being belted out from the back row.  Other drivers I encountered who would have prompted me to use some not so kind words earlier in the day, seemed to not bother me at all.  I felt a refreshing sense of peace and calmness.  What do I wholeheartedly believe caused this change of attitude?  The power of a visit.

In the age we live in, where technology is such a prominent part of our day to day happenings, it is easy to hop on social media and “chat” or communicate with others who may just be in the other room or across the globe from us.  While this is fine and a nice way to keep in touch with a larger variety of people, we must remember the importance and human necessity for actual face-to-face visitation and connection. Imagine if social media was a thing in Biblical times.  Mary sets her Facebook status to “With Child”.  Elizabeth, in reply, sends a SnapChat of her baby bump “Cool, me too!” How different and less significant of a story would that have been.

Never underestimate the power of a single visit.


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