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Overheard in the elevator

AFTER FINISHING my chart rounds for the morning, I took the elevator to the sixth floor. I was going to drop a referral. If you've been to PGH you probably know that our elevators have the following key characteristics: (1) they're slow—slower than an intern's brain on a post-duty day, (2) they're manned by actual people who press the buttons manually, and (3) they're almost always overpopulated, such that the alarm would go off once in a while, in which case the elevator lady would motion everyone to stay on the perimeter, a maneuver that always works.

The elevator can be an inconvenience if you're in a hurry, but I wasn't. I had all the time in the world. Inside were the elevator lady, the female patient in wheelchair, and an orderly in blue uniform who accompanied her. The elevator lady was, thankfully, still awake and responded to our tri-syllabic requests—"Sixth Floor, please" to which she replied, "Okay, Doc!" The female patient from the pay ward and the orderly were talking in one corner. I had no choice but to eavesdrop.

I heard the orderly mention something about how small our problems are compared to the greatness of God.

The patient said, "Tama 'yan. Minsan masyado nating iniisip ang mga problema, at nakakalimutan natin na Siya ang bahala sa lahat." (That's right. Sometimes we're too preoccupied with our problems, and we forget that He is in control of everything.)

"Ang mga problemang pinagadaanan natin ay pagsubok Niya. Ginagamit Niya ang mga ito para mas magtiwala tayo sa Kanya," said the orderly. (The problems we go through are His means to test us. He uses them so we will trust in Him.)

Before I knew it the elevator doors opened to the sixth floor. I may have heard but the snippet of the conversation, but my soul was refreshed. I didn't think a short trip in the elevator could be so edifying.

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