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Meaningful Reflections with Chaplain Kim Crawford Meeks is a monthly column that provides words of encouragement for associates at USA Health.

Published Jul 5th, 2022

By Kim Crawford Meeks
Spiritual Care Manager

As I sat at the beach one day, I observed the scenarios playing out around me. One man was sitting in a chair on the shoreline fishing. He patiently and steadily cast his pole over and over as he sat surrounded by dead fish. Such a picture of hope, as it seemed he was striving toward a purpose regardless of the loss and hardship that surrounded him.

Another observation was a man kissing a seashell before he tossed it into the ocean. Perhaps he was remembering someone who had gone before him and experiencing their time together on that very beach. I later noticed an elderly gentleman standing on the seashore staring blankly. I had seen him earlier with his family but now he was alone. He stood there staring at the groups of people and evidently had no idea which direction to go but didn’t seem distressed. He waited on a trusted person to guide him. Eventually, what seemed to be a younger version of him, took his hand without saying a word and led him back to their family.

As I left the beach, I had one last observation. I saw a little boy covering the steps leading back to the hotel rooms. I said “Hi. You sure are working hard.”

The little boy replied without skipping a beat, “I sure am!”

I then asked, “So, what are you working on?”

Again, while diligently working, he said, “Covering these steps!”

I then asked, a bit concerned, “Where are your parents?”

Now patting the sand in place, he tossed an arm up toward a balcony and said, “Up there.”

I looked up and saw his father watching over him, and we both waved. This little boy could work so hard without concern because he knew he had a protector watching over him. He felt safe.

It seems in every scenario at the beach that day, they shared a common thread. Each person had something or someone who made them feel safe or gave meaning to their lives. As they focused on their tasks at hand and leaned on their safe people and projects, they had no idea they may be influencing those around them.

As humans, we seek relationships, meaning and safety. May we remember to make meaning of each moment and nurture the relationships with our protectors and safe people in our lives. You never know when someone may be watching from their chair at the beach or bench in the park and feel encouraged by you to call a loved one and say, “Hi, I was thinking about you. Remember when we...?”

Chaplain Kim Crawford Meeks can be reached at 251-451-9015 or Call the Meaningful Reflections Line at 251-445-9016.


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