Lent- Day 27: For rich or poor.


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My home infusion nurse Charlie was over on Wednesday, administering IVIG. While the Gamunex dripped into my vein through my accessed PowerPort, he spoke about visiting a very rich patient upstate some years ago. She lived in a mansion that was staffed with white-gloved maids, personal chef, and a driver to chauffeur her to shopping trips in Manhattan and back. He set up her infusion while she reclined in a giant bed, swathed in high count sheets. After finishing, he was escorted to the front entry by a stern faced Black maid wearing a highly starched black uniform. It was undoubtedly the most expensive place he had ever stepped foot.

Immediately after, he drove to the markedly-not-so-tony city of Patterson. His next patient lived in a dank, dark basement apartment only accessible around the back of a multi-family home. The stairs leading down were steep and creaky, and the cold air from outside came through old wooden windows. The furniture was stained and worn. The patient remained bundled up in layers to try to maintain bodily warmth. After finishing that infusion, Charlie remembers driving home in astonishment at having patients back-to-back with such contrasting socio-economic states of living. 

“And you know, both of those patients ended up passing away. One was worth millions, the other very little, and in the end, they wound up the same way, in the grave,” Charlie said with a faraway look in his blue eyes.

His story reminded me of Jesus’ parable of “Lazarus and the Rich Man”. The tale is actually about how the rich man wound up in Hades while poor, sickly Lazarus went to eternal comfort with the prophet Abraham, but I thought of the first part, in which both die. Eventually, all of our numbers are up.

Two weeks from today is Good Friday, the day Christians around the world will observe the death of Christ.Then two days after that, we will celebrate His Resurrection. No amount of money, power or riches can beat death; but Love can. 







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