Dear Abby and Little Ministrations
Posted by gradywalton
“Dear Abby: I am at an age when I have lost many family members. NOT ONCE has the doctor sent a condolence card or letter to any family member. On the other hand, I have also lost many pets. Each time, the veterinarian sent a card or note, personally signed and often with the signatures of the entire office staff. I do not believe medical doctors care less for their patients than veterinary doctors care for family pets, but that vets have made sending condolences part of their office protocol. Medical doctors might well consider adding that protocol to their practices.”
Yikes! Our country is going to the dogs. (And legions of indifferent cats.) Now I have one more reason to envy my dog: he has better healthcare than me. Perhaps I should consider scheduling my next colonoscopy with my dog’s veterinarian. But I digress. Do people love animals more than each other? Well, there are probably many folk who prefer the company of quadrupeds over humans. Certainly my dog is much easier to get along with than some of the people I’ve encountered over the years. (He’s also more ethical, but not much.)
Anyhow, I wonder if the social graces we extend to one another as human beings are falling by the wayside in our culture. Small gestures of kindness don’t get much glory these days. We tend to look at the life of Christ, as well as the astounding accomplishments of other champions of the faith, and we feel guilty because we are not doing grand things for the Kingdom of Heaven. (We are not Mother Teresa.) And yet something as simple as sending a card of condolence can mean more to a grieving person than a lifetime of Sunday sermons. The little ministrations are not so little. In fact, they are grand.