The Hospital

An accident befell a certain woman outside a town she was on her way to visit. Wounded and in pain, she hobbled the rest of the way to find help.

The road leading into town became Main Street. The woman staggered up to the first building she came to. It looked like a business with its neon “OPEN” sign, so she went in. “Oh,” said a man behind a counter. “What happened? Let me help you.” He pulled some money out of a drawer and waved it. “This should do the trick.” The woman blinked and squinted, trying to understand. The man leaned forward. “This is a bank,” he said. “Some money ought to get you on your way. I just need you to fill out some paperwork.”

“I don’t need money. I need medical care!” replied the woman. She left the building and went to the next.

This business had furniture laid out across a large showroom. An employee came up to the wounded woman and said, “You poor woman! You’ve been through something horrible. Come here. Have a rest.” She led the way to one of the sofas and spread her arms. “You’ll feel a lot better if you lie down for a while.”

The woman shook her head. “I need more than a little rest. That won’t be enough. It hurts too much.” And she left.

Across the street sprawled a building with capital letters on a marquee over the door. The woman entered, her muscles quivering in pain, and approached someone dressed tidily who looked ready to assist. “I need help!” she cried out.

“I can see that,” came the reply. “If you buy a movie ticket, you can be distracted from your problems for a couple of hours! You can get your mind off of those cuts and bruises.”

“No, no,” mumbled the woman. “No good.”

At the next building, she was quickly admitted to see a man in an expensive suit sitting behind an enormous wooden desk. “Ah!” he said, standing. “A customer! Yes! Tell me everything that happened and who’s at fault, and I’ll file a lawsuit and make sure you have all the money you need!”

“How will that help?” countered the woman, growing frustrated and hopeless. “That’s not going to heal these wounds or this pain!”

“Then I can’t help you,” replied the lawyer, shaking his head.

Making her way up Main Street once more, the woman felt tears come to her eyes. Who could help her? She rounded a bend in the street and then saw the answer: a set of buildings on a rise with a prominent red cross on the largest one. She stumbled forward.

Inside, nurses ushered her into a room and lay her on a bed. They tended to her wounds, relieved her pain, gave her medicine to fight infection, and made her comfortable. Already feeling well on her way to full recovery, the woman smiled at them and fell into a healing sleep.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on

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