“There are no concerns.”
I stared at the paper, but the words didn’t change. “There are no concerns.” There it was, my handwriting in black ink on the medical chart. In medical language, it means that the patient isn’t sick. They don’t feel bad. There is nothing wrong. Normally that is a good thing. But this time, as I sat filling out yet another medical form for yet another child entering the emergency foster shelter, I found myself overtaken with emotion.
Anger. Disgust. Frustration. Sadness. Worry.
I wrote that there were no concerns. But that isn’t true. I have concerns. I have lots of concerns. Concerns about these children. About what they will think about and what they will feel when the lights go out at night and the shelter is quiet. About where they will live next, and whether the family who takes them in will treat them as their own or merely as transients. About whether their social worker will get to know them as human beings or just by a case number. About when they will see their family again, and whether that reunion will be filled with joy or anger or fear.
We should be concerned. And may that concern fuel our actions. May it compel us to get out of our comfortable lives where most of our concern is for ourselves, and to be concerned for someone else for a change.