The Elevator Challenge

Have you ever noticed how awkward elevator rides can be (especially in hospitals)?  The 7ft x 9ft squared contraption has a way of ushering in an uncomfortable silence.  People will be laughing it up, enjoying the humor of a friend, a video, a song, or a scene, but, as soon as the elevator doors open, the demonstrative expression will disappear as they step into the socially awkward rectangle.  Over the past nine weeks, I have witnessed brash, loud socializers become noticeably reserved introverts upon entering the elevator.  It is the weirdest thing.  So weird, in fact, that elevator-people-watching has become one of my favorite pastimes.  I love watching how each individual creatively compensates for their lack of comfort in such an inescapably intimate space.

Most people struggle to be their true selves when riding the elevator.  Yes, I readily accept that there are some outliers who contradict the aforementioned description; however, I also believe my conclusions are closer to the rule than they are to the exception.  Unless you are riding with well-known associates, odds are, you will struggle to coexist comfortably in elevators.  And I think I know why.  I believe it has something to do with our natural aversion to sharing an intimate space with people we don’t trust.  In a way, we endure wordless elevator rides for the same reason we struggle to remain vulnerable–close proximity without trust yields wariness.

That’s why I’ve tried to use the half-dozen rides I take (per day) to challenge my own insecurities.  Each elevator encounter affords me an opportunity to overcome shrinking, hiding, or withdrawing.  I no longer stare aimlessly at the lit buttons on the left panel.  I force myself to make eye-contact and I extend genuine salutations.  I no longer stare at the floor to avoid interaction; instead, I hold my head up, opening myself to possible exchanges with peculiar passengers.  Each elevator ride becomes a laboratory; every interaction becomes an experiment.  If you can conquer elevator awkwardness, you can thrive (interpersonally) in any setting.  So with every lift, my emotional intelligence gets a boost while my improved skills cultivate confidence.  

Here is Jesher’s current medical report:

EYES–Jesher’s ophthalmologist examined him today and gave him an A+ on his exam!  His eyes are developing without any need for concern at this time.  He will return to examine Jesher in two weeks.  This means that his eyes are not showing any decline due to high oxygen or bilirubin levels.  WE PRAISE YAHWEH FOR THIS GOOD REPORT!  PLEASE ASK HIM TO PROVIDE JESHER WITH MANY MORE GOOD REPORTS.  ASK GOD TO DELIVER JESHER FROM ALL DEFICITS, DISORDERS, OR DISEASES!

WEIGHT–In my previous post, I requested prayer concerning Jesher’s weight.  We are asking the Lord to gift Jesher baby fat.  Our goal is to see Jesher reach 3lbs by May 5th.  Thus far, on May 1st, Jesher has reached 2lbs 14oz.  This means he is only two ounces away from reaching this goal!  PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO FATTEN JESHER UP, SO HIS ORGANS, BONES, AND MUSCLES CAN DEVELOP WITH ADDED SUPPORT.

HEART–Jesher has completed his second round of indomethacin.  This is a medication prescribed to aid the closure of Jesher’s PDA [Patent ductus arteriosus].  If his PDA does not close on its own, heart surgery will be required.  We are asking God to allow Jesher to avoid any surgeries; therefore, we need his PDA to close and remain closed.  The doctors do believe that it closed about 4 weeks ago, but it opened back up soon after (which is normal for preemies born prior to 30 weeks).  PLEASE ASK GOD TO CLOSE JESHER’S PDA AND SEAL IT SO THAT IT CANNOT REOPEN.  ASK YAHWEH TO DELIVER JESHER FROM NEEDING ANY SURGICAL PROCEDURES.

The next time you are in an elevator, take The Elevator Challenge.  Don’t retreat from explicit engagement; don’t find a fixed point on the floor to stare at; don’t resent the closeness, and don’t resist the intimacy.  Embrace the space!  Tell yourself that you have no reason to cower, and then lift your chin.  Open your body language to receive reciprocal action.  If no interaction comes, no worries…you did your part.  And if interaction does ensue, you can flex your vulnerability muscles and get a mid-day interpersonal workout.  Either way, you win!  You win because you had the guts to remain available–despite the awkwardness.

“‘Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD.” Jeremiah 1:8



13 thoughts on “The Elevator Challenge

  1. Thanks for the update today. I am excited about Jesher’s eye report and will still continue to pray for the strengthening of all vital organs and body systems. I can feel it in my bones; Jesher is moving forward steadily, surely. Awesome sauce, as quoted in one of my favorite commercials.


  2. Thank you for all your posts and updates. I look forward with anticipation in hopes I get a blog from you to get a little sermon, and to see how Jesher is doing. Please know that you and your family are being lifted up in prayer every morning around 5:45. I pray that God continues to heal Jesher- he’s already done miracles in that little boy and you all are certainly a blessing to me.


  3. Many more good news are on the way for Jesher’s heart! Praying for weight gain needed. I will reiterate my belief that the LORD God is controlling Jesher’s development. His current pace of development is not random. The medical staff will sing praises for all the miracles and so would we.
    There will be bo deficit, disorders or diseases in Jesus name!


  4. From the last line of my favorite hymn (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love – here’s my heart, oh take and seal it – Seal it for Thy courts above.
    Prayers for Jeshur’s heart to seal and that when he is older, his heart will always be sealed with the Holy Spirit.


  5. All praises to God for Jesher’s good eye report. I pray the the 3lb goal will be met and the. PDA closure w/o surgery will be a reality in Jesus’s name.
    R/T the elevator challenge: I’m such a talker including in elevators
    (unless I am near someone with a seemingly “I don’t care to talk” look on their face). Anyway…may God bless and keep you ALL in His care!


  6. Dear Chaplain Polite,

    Ronnie and I (Gaby and DJ’s parents) since the moment we heard, we have been praying for your and your precious family and especially for the “tiny but mighty” baby who will soon grow up to be a warrior for God! We will also be adding him and you to our prayer list of 2000 Spiritual Ambassadors at Florida hospital. Today, as the voices of our nation unite to pray, I pray that God will take our prayers as a Niagara Falls prayer rushing to the throne of grace and fully and completely heal your precious treasure in Jesus name! Every cell, every organ, every bone, every brain cell, so he may grow up as Jesus did in wisdom and stature and be a world changer for Jesus Christ and for eternity! Adriana, Ronald and Evangelina Pasos


  7. Last year, at this time of the year, we were NICU parents as well! Praying for you and your little warrior. Hold on!


  8. So glad to hear about his eyes! We continue to pray for improvements daily nothing is to small to rejoice about! We love y’all


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