When I traveled to Rome in 2005, I saw priests everywhere, working, studying or just visiting Rome. I commented that no wonder the Vatican isn't worried about the priest shortage. The pope and others just had to look out their windows and they saw priests all around.
It was a clear example of how what we see everyday informs our perception of the bigger world around us. As my chaplaincy intern draws to a close, I've become aware that spending intense hours everyday in a hospital has altered my perceptions of the sick and well. Yesterday, as I walked the streets of downtown Chicago, I was startled to see vast numbers of able-bodied people. Where had they all come from? And then it dawned on me that it seemed unusual because I have been seeing and visiting people for nearly three months who are not able in body — either temporarily or permanently.