"You know we have ten times as many medical information codes than we did in September?
The brand-new ICD 10 – International Classification of Diseases – increased the ICD-9’s ~15,000 codes to ~150,000 codes for medical billing and other record-keeping. Now doctors can specify that an injury happened in a prison swimming pool: Y92.146, or that someone was crushed by a human stampede while resting or sleeping: W52.04.
Or that someone was burned when their water skis caught fire!
W220.2 is for walking into a lamp post, and W220.2XD is for walking into lamppost, subsequent encounter.
Now I don’t want to poke too much fun at these codes; they probably each exist because the events have happened at least once. And there’s nothing funny about being injured in a prison swimming pool. But I do chuckle at people glued to their cell phones walking into lamp posts, which has become such a common occurrence that London actually padded its lamp posts a couple years ago!
I hope this hasn’t happened to any of you! Even if you haven’t walked into lampposts or fountains with your eyes on your phone, what keeps you from looking up and seeing the people around you?
How are you blind to the life and need and pain and humanity that is all around you? Jesus can heal you from this blindness just as he healed Bartimaeus. Because Jesus teaches us how to see each other, and when we look up and see each other, we’ve taken the first step to loving like Jesus.
Frederick Buechner writes, “When Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God and neighbor, Jesus asks us to pay attention. If we are to love God, we must first stop, look, and listen for God in what is happening around us and inside us. If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors.”
Where do you see God happening inside and around you? God may be easy to see in the big stuff, like the outpouring of love and financial support the US Church of the Brethren has shared with the church in Nigeria. God may be easy to see in the heroic, like people who risk their bodies and lives to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams around the world. God may be easy to see in the stark, like soup kitchens and foot clinics for the homeless.
I think God is hardest to see in our own neighbors, in one another, in ourselves. God seems most elusive closest to home, in the day-to-day....
Who goes to the Grand Canyon and fails to see with artist eyes? Who hears the Halleluiah chorus and fails to hear with artist ears? But in the mundane of everyday, our inner artists might fall asleep....
In the midst of this season of change, we can put on blinders like a workhorse, hunker down, try to ignore the traffic sounds around us, and hope we get to familiar ground soon.
We can see with lazy vision the worst in each other, and the worst in ourselves.
We can look up! And pay attention! And see one another with love-colored glasses...."