The hospital occupancy rate was down. Just 79% at 5 am.

I’m not sure what to make of that.

It’s great news, if it means that everyone is healthy and not in need of medical treatment. But one of the conversations that day was with someone who said, “I’m still upset with myself that I didn’t make my spouse come in sooner. The doc said 24 hours more and it would have been too late.” So it’s possible that the census is low because people are resisting the concern from others that could save a life.

And it’s irrelevant news because each of the 79% is still a person who may need a conversation, who may need some affirmation.

I’m thinking a lot about how misleading percentages and statistics are for those of us who offer care one person at a time. Which includes every parent, every spouse, every child, every friend.

It’s possible, I suppose to create a preoccupancy rate which measures the amount of our mind that’s devoted to conversations with our kids. In that case, 79% would mean that we were focusing on the conversation just over 20% of the time.

But mostly, our devotion to the well-being of those we care about is less about numbers and more about attending to them.

IMG_0033In the text for Sunday, Jesus talked about the way that God pays attention to sparrows. You don’t have to know all about the temple economy of his day to know that sparrows are plentiful, with muted colors and an almost boring resilience. Which doesn’t reduce their value in God’s eyes.

Having those characteristics doesn’t reduce our value to him either.

We’re 100% important 100% of the time, all together and each by each.

2 thoughts on “Census

  1. Hugh McDevitt

    Jon, I’m not 100% sure, but based on looking at your other bird feeder pictures on Flickr, I think this picture is actually a female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Great pictures of the male. We normally get Black-Headed Grosbeaks here in Central California, but a couple of vagrant Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks have been reported on the coast south of San Francisco. I’m trying to find a morning I can drive over and see one.


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