The following is the text of the presentation at the “My Recipe For Peace” Dinner, a fundraising event for Interfaith Paths To Peace, which took place at The Temple on Brownsboro Road in Louisville, KY on July 12, 2012.
“We started the inter-faith Department of Spirituality at Signature Healthcare with one philosophy: to love everyone where they stood, to build a department based on unconditional love and respect for all cultures and faith traditions, without watering it down. In this, we have shattered misperceptions of spirituality in the workplace, its efficacy, its life-changing aura, its viability and sustainability, and its fortuitous power.
On the tip of this new contemplation, this simple formula keeps peace in the accordioned quilt of who we are as a company. All in all, that has moved the mountains, along with the sanctity of respect, and prayer which I find myself steeped in daily.
What happens is truly inspirational in that seconds, minutes and moments turn into even the tiniest of miracles. And so it is in that unexpected encounter, that special wink when a prayer is the only cure, when a word can reverse the course of a bad decision, when a new understanding evolves, when questions of ‘why’ are answered, when spirituality links the confusion of dementia with the sound of angels, where only God can give solace in the stillness of punishing grief, where writing it down unlocks the pain into passing away, where healings are unexplained except by the touch of the Lord’s magnificence, where wounds close and falls are prevented, where time meets that instant of dire need.
I remember my first year in this endeavor and I was at one of our Tennessee nursing homes and passed by a room where a man laid supine (on his back). I remember passing him thinking he probably couldn’t respond or talk since he appeared to have little cognition or alertness. But the Spirit moved around me in the peace of the moment and I heard God whisper even as I trundled down the hall, Stop, and go back to that man, He said. This man is requesting a visit. God had heard this precious man’s thoughts while I was focused on what he could not do or who I thought he no longer was. As I turned to go back into his room I had fears—fear that the man might not respond, fear that he might be too sick for his skin was graying and he appeared near death.
I cradled my trembling hand over the man’s cold fingers, and looked into his feverish eyes, so delicate with the wear of use in his many decades of life. And there he was, looking back at me. I smiled and said something which I don’t remember now and his face changed from square to round like it had been lifted from the bed, and his eyes squeezed with the recognition of another, a simple conversation of hope without the parable of any words.
A new trust abounded in me that day, a new love for mankind and our perfect imperfections, that we are all vulnerable, that we will all need help at some cross-section of time. God knew. He had heard the sheep among us and connected it with a shepherd who might risk a kind word and the jewel of love.
Delight in miracles for they come in every moment of every precious breath, the honk of a goose, the velvet touch of a rose, the grain of wood, the fragrance of mango, the feel of thick molasses, the sight of a gentle waterfall, the notice of a human in need. God is in every touch, squeeze, and the ear that is ready to listen. He is always willing to listen to us; let us always be willing to listen to Him. For in prayer, there is peace.”
– Dianne Timmering, July 12, 2012