“Hello, Julia,” said the parson as he walked into the ICU waithing room. Julia was a twelve-year-old who frequently attended his worship service. Her parents were inactive but they and the parson hit it off.
“Hi, Parson,” responded Julia. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to see your Uncle Jake. What are you doing here?”
“I'm here with my Mom. She's visiting Uncle Jake, too. But she and Allison Chambers went down to the cafeteria to get something to eat. She'll be back in a minute if you want to see her.”
“Well, I'm much rather see you,” said the parson as he sat in a love seat across from the chair in which Julia sat. He took note of the Toshiba Notebook in her lap. “I hope I'm not interrupting your browsing.”
“Oh, I'm not browsing, Parson. I'm trying to figure out what's what around this hospital.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the doctors around here speak a different language than us.”
“Yes, they do. My uncle has these dark places on his arms. I asked the doctor what they were. He said they were a hematoma. I didn't say anything in there. I didn't want to look stupid. But I looked it up. My uncle's arm is bruised. He calls it a hematoma. I call it a bruise. Two languages, see what I mean.”
“And he also told me my uncle had a cebrebro vascular event. You know what a cebrebro vascular event is, Parson?”
“I guess I don't speak the language, Julia.”
“See, you're understanding. It's a stroke. My uncle had a stroke. I know what a stroke is. Why don't they just say what they mean in a way anybody can understand.”
“I get your point,” said the parson. He noticed Julia's mother coming into the room and stood to greet her. After doing so he excused himself and turned to go about his daily rounds.
“Good to see you, Julia,” he said. “I hope you get these doctors to talk more plainly.”
Julia smiled. “You do it, too, Parson.”
“I do what?”
“You speak another language sometimes.”
“I do? When?”
“Sunday mornings. You talk for ten or fifteen minutes and what you say almost every Sunday is: “Jesus love you and you should love each other.”
The parson acknowledged it. He walked from the room feeling conflicted. Fifteen minutes was a long time for such a simple message. But, he'd just discovered one person who heard what he preached.