Fall Risk (or, What I Learned From a Hideous Yellow Hospital Band).

Fall Risk
My daughter was hospitalized last summer for what ended up being three days. Wasn’t on either of our agendas. Inconvenient, painful, disruptive. Humbling for sure.
Upon admittance, in addition to the typical ID bracelet, she was also required to wear a bright yellow wrist band.  The words FALL RISK were emblazoned across it. A pair of oversized, yellow slip socks were also issued her.

‘Caution!’ The colors screamed. ‘This one might fall.  Needs to be watched carefully.’
“They must know how clumsy I am.” She shrugged.  A sheepish grin dawned across her face.
Together we giggled about it. All weekend, in fact.

After discharge, having just pulled into the driveway, I let out a weary mother’s sigh then began to gather momentos.  And there it was, that hideous, yellow hospital bracelet.  I read it again as if for the first time.  Fall risk.

What had been the source of laughs in the hospital began to haunt me as I wrestled with what I considered to be righteous anger.

“Honestly.  What difference does it make if I work to keep God’s rules?  You know, live obediently according to the law, while others disregard them, reveling in God’s free gift of grace like pigs in a mud pit.  And some of these, in the end, will slip right on into His promised eternal dwelling right along with me.  Humph.”

So what if there are rewards in heaven for how earnestly we utilize His gifts on earth?  Somehow this truth just didn’t bring satisfaction.

I glanced at the words again.  Fall risk.

And then it hit me.
Hard.
Tears flowed. Enough to fill an ocean.

I heard God’s unmistakable pronouncement, a haunting echo:

“Remember, it wasn’t sexual immorality or drug use or alcohol abuse or blasphemy or profanity or gluttony or ingratitude (the list is endless) that caused Satan’s demise. It was his pride.”

Pride.  Yuck.  No, double yuck.  Pride in my choice to live obediently puts me right up there with the elder brother who fussed with his father for lavishing the reckless spend-thrift younger brother with a welcome home party while he worked tirelessly to follow the rules.

Hmmm.  So close to the Father yet so far.  Not only am I at constant risk for a fall it seems that I had, indeed, fallen short in my thinking.
Yep. Pride had worked its magic. Perhaps it would do me well to imagine that yellow bracelet around my own wrist. God must know how clumsy I can be.

What about you? Are you a fall risk?

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