One afternoon recently, on my way upstairs at St. Anne’s, I told Sr. Elaine, who was around the front office here: “I’m going upstairs to chase after some men.” She responded: “Okay; don’t worry. I won’t tell Mother General.”
My “scandalous” activities entailed heading to remind some of our male residents to come down to the nurse, or something similar.
Since I have been doing aide work almost every night since the beginning of the month, I have had other occasions to make this eyebrow-raising remark. And, Sr. Elaine has been known to make her same reassuring response. I guess I don’t have to worry about any negative reports being faxed over to Germany, so I’m relieved.
This ‘chasing after men’ has also included helping them with their bedtime preparations. Even after all these times of helping our men (and ladies), I am still touched with what an honor and a grace it is to be able to do this kind of work. Graces and blessings can come in unexpected ways, as I experienced one afternoon when men did the ‘chasing.’
I was ‘stuck at the front desk,’ and we needed to get one of our ladies down to the nurse, so I got resourceful. Shame on me for exploiting men’s natural attraction to women.
We have one floor for men and another for women. After checking about mixed-gender visiting hours, I sent my willing woman-chaser upstairs to tell a lady it was time to see the nurse. Not only did he tell her, but he kindly escorted her all the way to the nurse’s office. I was proud and pleased! (When I shared the experience with my Sisters afterward, they thought she was probably pleased, too, with the attention.)
This evening, all my chasing got the better of me; by 7:30, when I finished up on the floors, my feet were sore and tired. Coming once again to the front office, where Sr. Elaine had been filling in for me as receptionist, I informed her that my feet were tired from ‘chasing after men.’
As I type this post, my shoeless feet are resting on the bottom ledge of the computer stand at our reception desk, trying to revive after their scandalous activities.
I guess you might be able to call these tired feet beautiful, in a sense. Isaiah 52:7 exclaims: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation…” Perhaps this passage is more appropriately applied in praise to Our Lord, which I certainly don’t want to neglect. However, I hope and pray that I, too, can be a messenger of joy and of His love in a small way with my tired feet.
Sr. Christina M. Neumann