The medical technician began purchasing her scrubs from a specialty store across the country from her. She paid a high price for the particular scrubs, and was very satisfied with how they fit and looked.
She was a bit hesitant to be bold enough to wear the new scrubs to work. She changed out of them and put them back on three times before finally leaving them for another day when she was more adventurous. She mainly worked in the back, drawing blood from a few patients here and there, but more often she processed samples and filled out forms.
Only a few people saw her on any given workday and so she reasoned that it wouldn’t matter if her attire was slightly different. The dress code was not specific about the design of her clothing, and she knew there was little anyone would say – even if they wondered at them. She had never established a close relationship with her coworkers. Everyone knew her position was generally used to gain experience and then leave for the job the person really wanted, so they never invested in talking much with the person in the back.
She understood this, and held no grudge against her coworkers who barely acknowledged her or involved her in their talk about the weekend or the latest television show, let alone the stories about their lives and challenges. She smiled politely and waited for the year to pass when she might apply to her intended position and a satisfying career with coworkers who would share those stories with her, and she with them.
A male nurse paused as he passed the medical technician exiting the break room. He couldn’t help but stare at the scrubs she was wearing and wonder what in the world had possessed her to choose them. They looked so childish, so out of place. It reminded him of wrapping paper used for a young child. The colors were bold, but the print was rather juvenile and immature. He asked a fellow nurse if she had noticed and had a short dialog on the subject. Both agreed that no self-respecting professional would choose such attire, and neither could understand her.
After a few months, the staff had become accustomed to the strange scrubs and learned to ignore her choice of design. They were relieved she kept to herself and stayed in the back where patients would not see her and embarrass the facility. Although they were used to her, everyone was happy to hear that the medical technician had given her notice and would soon be gone. The sooner the better, some whispered, for she had been used to take blood that day and the look on the patient’s face when her bright scrubs entered the room had shown surprise.
Over a year later, the male nurse was wheeling his young cousin back to his room after a visit around the children’s hospital. His cousin had only a few treatments left, and things were looking good for his progress and it was possible he would fully recover from his disease. He had volunteered to visit so that his parents and older siblings could have a break, and he had really enjoyed his time. As they exited the elevator, he caught sight of a familiar set of scrubs walking toward them.
It was the medical technician, he realized. She met his glance and smiled brightly. She seemed more interested in his patient then him, but politely greeted him. His young cousin knew her name and instantly began telling her of their adventure around the hospital, and explaining that his cousin was a real nurse.
The nurse stared in wonder as the quiet and presumed odd medical technician he had known kept his very shy cousin talking for a full five minutes. She was completely at ease with children, and it was obvious that she loved them unconditionally. Turning to him, she politely asked after her old office mates and he stumbled over his reply. He couldn’t believe the transformation before him. The scrubs fit her and her surroundings exactly; for she was radiant, bold, and energetic. She was, he realized, exactly where she should be.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story—————
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
In Matthew 3:4 we read an odd description of a person quite different to folks back then. We don’t see any physical descriptions by Matthew before this of anyone, so why did he include that? What did it matter other than to point out he was weird? I used to think it was because he was a wild man and sure thing, he was definitely a bit wild – for he yelled and preached in a remote place. John the Baptizer demanded attention. However, there’s more to this and I believe the author had another purpose for the play-by-play on his dress. In this story I dealt with someone who chose to dress just a little different in preparation for the job they wanted and the judgment on dress that we all have.
Certainly John’s diet is odd, but he was a Nazarite from birth, so you could say he was taught to be diligent and never knew anything different. In a culture of wine drinking he never tasted a grape; and even observed the law of clean and unclean eating by eating only insects that were allowed by the law. I concluded that telling us his diet was important because it showed he could control himself and his appetites, but what about the clothes? John was promised to be great in the sight of the Lord, but I expect to his peers his outfit was anything but impressive. In researching this strange outfit I found that Elijah dressed like that too. Check out 2 Kings 1:8. Were I a bible scholar I might have known that but I’m trying to be transparent; and I honestly had no clue.
Elijah was expected by the people of Israel. They expected him in person, not one with the same masterful spirit of power in speech and presence. Perhaps the fact that John dressed the same way might have made some wonder, but others rightfully could say “His name’s not Elijah so what if he dressed like him?” We often expect God to act in a certain way, whether to get us out of a bind or to heal someone we love. We want God to meet our expectations and that is natural enough. I can’t fault the people who ignored the dress, I might have been one of them. However, God isn’t tame, and we can’t always figure out what He will do. In a way John as the messenger for mankind’s hero challenges anyone who thinks God is meek or that we can know more than God – to think again.