I should’ve known that my visit was not going to go well when I walked in the clinic and the front desk staff wouldn’t even look at me. Instead, I was greeted with a condescending “What?!” before being instructed to sit in a very crowded, very poorly ventilated waiting room. I waited for over an hour before I was finally hurried into the examination room.
But at this point, I wasn’t even angry. I’ve worked in clinics before and sometimes the staff just has a bad day. Everyone is entitled to a bad day.
But then, the visit took a turn. At one point the nurse glanced down at my paperwork and noticed my degree: Ph.D. Suddenly, she glanced up with a big smile on her face and said, “Oh! You’re a doctor?” As soon as I answered in the affirmative, I was taken around the clinic and introduced to everyone as Dr. Amador. I was greeted with nothing but smiles and cordiality. I relished in the preferential treatment for a few moments until I realized what had happened.
Did they not think that I had value before finding out my degree? Worst of all, how would they treat my mother or father who didn’t have the same educational opportunities as I’ve had. The truth is that the clinic staff probably wouldn’t have taken the time to know them. That’s a pity, because they would’ve missed out on knowing two extraordinary people.
There’s a short story in the first chapter of John, where a man named Philip attempts to tell his friend Nathaniel about an amazing man named Jesus who was from a town called Nazareth (the Biblical equivalent of the wrong side of the tracks). Nathaniel shows his prejudice and asks, “From Nazareth? Can any good thing come from there?” Philip’s answer is simple and profound. “Come and see for yourself.”
Philip invites Nathanial, and us by extension, to leave his biases behind and take a chance on getting to know Jesus.
And that invitation applies to us today, God invites us to set aside our prejudices. Otherwise, we may miss out on meeting extraordinary people.
Nathanael said, “From Nazareth? Can any good thing come from there?” Philip said, “Come and see for yourself” (John 1: 46, NIV).
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Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.