So I was in This Present House today and Mrs. R was teaching on the story of Namaan in 2kings 5 who was an army general. First of all I had always battled with an army general who had leprosy but she put it in context. There is every possibility that he contracted it in the course of things; not that he was born a leper. I was wondering why his wife’s slave girl, a war prisoner from Israel should feel so concerned about his condition that she recommended Elisha. Again, when Namaan refused to dip in the river Jordan as prescribed by Dr. Elisha, his servants referred to him as “Father” when urging him to try the treatment. I can’t imagine a ferocious and intimidating warrior being referred to so fondly.
The thought that hit me was that the man had dual personalities.
Years ago, I spent about 3 months working in the staff clinic of a polytechnic. I had 2 male colleagues, a matron and a number of female nurses to contend with. My duties were to do medical fitness examinations for students who had gained admission, treat common illnesses in staff and students and offer first aid in cases of emergency. I loved the job because I got to meet a lot of young people. I was probably 26 or 27 (I looked 20 cause I was so skinny) so I got a bit of attention from those who marveled that I had finished school already.
I remember the colleague who was senior to me telling me not to apply myself too much as the pay was not worth it. The other one refused to touch patients without gloves because he didn’t want to catch something (even though he could have just washed his hands). I had to be all things to all men.
To my senior colleague, I was the humble, unobtrusive lady who only did her duty.
To the other one, I tolerated his skittishness though I felt like calling him out.
To the matron I was the ever available doctor who got there before the others and saw as many patients as she referred. She always knew I had her back.
To the nurses, I was friendly but firm. They knew what I expected of them and they did not need too many reminders.
To the staff I was bristling with medical information, always ready to counsel and give my opinion on everything from marriage to child care to boyfriend issues (I know what you are thinking. Lol).
When I got home I became the daughter of highly accomplished parents who needed me to listen to them and give them encouragement.
Did I mention I was in the choir and had to also remember to drop the day’s work and get into worship from the gate?
Where am I going with this? On the day I had to leave the job, the staff organized a going-away party for me and got gifts and made speeches with everyone saying something kind. My other 2 colleagues kept asking what the hullaballoo was all about seeing I had not been there for long.
We all have different roles in life and people have their expectations of us but we must learn to adapt without losing our identity. This is something only the spirit of God can enable you do. If you are constantly asking him “Am I doing what you need done? How best can I serve you today? Is there anything you want me to make happen?” then you give God room to touch others.
You can keep insisting “This is just how I am! I cannot change for anybody! I don’t pretend!” but the truth is you are missing opportunities to witness. Namaan was a big boy at the war front but at home he was a kind master. He probably treated his staff fairly. Maybe they were impressed with his faithfulness to his wife or he paid them regularly or he made sure they were well-fed. Whatever be the case he knew how to be tough when he needed to be and kind when necessary.
Dear muse, have you carried your “Nobody should mess with me!” face that you use in intimidating opponents at work to your home? Is your witness affected by your loud voice that drowns that of others? You are not only setting yourself up for a fall, you are a prime candidate for elevated blood pressure and all sorts of cardiac disease. Stress is a proven precursor of many illnesses. Why not take that mask off, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath and put a smile on your lips.
Now raise your hands and say “I am not too accomplished to be approachable”
That’s better! See you in health. I love you.
Note: I do not use the phrase “Dual personality” in the same context as the psychiatric term.
Also, I thank you for your patience while I nursed the latest addition to my family. Yes, Dr. N has 4 children. All I can say is if you have had enough get contraception ASAP. lol. I will be more regular, I promise. And thanks for all the messages. I really appreciate the love. God bless you