on slaying dragons and playing whack-a-mole. . .
As I look to starting back in the hospital on Tuesday, I feel like I did on my first day of my sophomore year of college. I now know the place, what can happen, the way to get food and find my mail, but I’m not a rookie anymore. I can’t claim amnesty because I don’t know what I am getting into. . . this is my home that I love, but my place in it is different than it was 3 years ago. I battle expectations and agendas and try to look at what is placed in front of me to do each day.
We were watching Madam Secretary last night, and after a particularly devastating loss (ironically involving the death of a kidnapped missionary), the secretary of state’s team has a meeting in her office to debrief. In answer to her question on why this loss had been so hard, the speech writer said,
“I want to slay dragons, ma’am, not play whack-a-mole with evil.”
David and I watched the scene several times because the words resonated so much with our day to day life. As we described our work in Kenya on home assignment, we want people to see the impact, the reasons – we want to show them how desperately we want to slay the dragons that haunt us daily – with extreme poverty, unyielding sickness, the inevitable absence of grace and justice, the inequality, and the darkness.
We know that many days, it seems we are just playing whack-a-mole with evil. I know a day in the not too distant future I will lose the battle for a kids life despite my most (hopefully) heroic efforts. I know that crisis is only as far as around the next corner and that compassion fatigue will haunt the brightest days. . .
Tea Leoni’s charachter responds,
“Sometimes making evil have to duck and find another hole, is the best we are going to do.”
I know that when the malnourished child that goes home healthy having heard words of hope each day of their hospitalization, that evil has to duck.
I know that each time intern that grasps the importance of resuscitation or begins to love pediatrics, evil has to duck.
I know that when the pediatric team to continues to love well in the face of impossibility, evil has to duck.
I also know this Easter week, despite how much I want to be the gallant knight, the biggest Dragon is not mine to slay. That work is already done. For in the devastation of the cross and the joy of Easter morning, that Dragon was slain for all time.
So I will walk back into the hospital on Tuesday and battle brokenness and bureaucracy, hopelessness and inequality – and see in every step the certainty of His grace and the victory won on a dark hill in Israel a couple thousand years ago.