As I begin every shift, I clip my ID badge to my lab coat. This piece of plastic provides a mere glimpse of my identity. From this insignia hanging from my body, can you determine my work ethic, what I believe, how I treat others, my lifestyle choices, etc., etc.? From just a glance at my badge, how can you know who I really am? It is only from series of rich interpersonal encounters that you can begin to understand the constellation of what makes me, me.
When I unclip this mere piece of plastic displaying my primary role of chaplain and walk out the doors of this place after each shift, did you know that I portray so many other roles in this play called life? How, from a glimpse, could you know that I am a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, etc., that loves to travel, play power soccer, read, spend time with family, and play games? Does this badge truly define me? No, my true identity stems from my authentic character, beliefs, values, and attitude that I live out within and beyond these walls.
So, what is the purpose of the badge? It is like the cover of a book. It places a label on the outside of something that can only be known by digging into what lies within. Although we are extraordinarily involved in our roles as healthcare providers, if we possibly take a moment to look beyond the badge, we can discover a wonderful array of people who can and will enrich our lives, and from these encounters, they will be enriched as well.
Lord, I ask that You guide us in finding ways to show our true identity that You have created in each of us. In Your name I pray, Amen.