Saturday, August 11, 2012

When You Are Not a Good Nurse

I have a new column at

It was written a few years ago when I was staying at the hospital with a family member. When the website it was published on was taken down, and my laptop was on the blink, I feared I had lost my thoughts forever. It's a scary feeling to think one's thoughts are lost forever.

My husband performed CPR on my laptop and part of my mind was revived. So I'm resharing it in hopes that it helps revive someone. Anyone.

I'm not a very good nurse, mind you, (have no idea how I produced a daughter who wears that hat). She takes after her daddy, I'm sure. I'm not even a very good nurse's aid, but I've done my share of serving when I could around my family's needs. I serve because I am called...not because I enjoy it, certainly not because I like it. In fact, I'm pretty pitiful at that job.

I'm such a bad nurse...let me tell you...that my husband is the one who usually held the babies when they were sick. They convalesced on his chest.

What am I, you ask? My job is more janitorial. I'm the one who strips beds and lysols tiolet bowls and mops vomit off floors. I don't deal well with emotions. I'm a "let's fix this quick and move on with things afterall, life's too short" type person.

I used to hate that about myself. I wanted to be the one who could dry the tears, comfort the distressed, still the soul.

My conversion was in learning that we need the janitors as well as the nurses.

But God comforts us, doesn't He. And He knows how. He sent me a husband who knows me well. Surprisingly, I am the calm one in times of emergency (for the most part, perhaps not always). My husband, as comforting as he is, does not care to sleep with sick children. Feverish bodies are delivered to me when every last little is cleansed away.

I have slept with them all, placed cool rags on hot foreheads, rubbed backs endlessly, administered medicine, dried tears, and bathed small bodies.

I don't enjoy it; I certainly don't enjoy it. I am such a bad nurse that I am well aware of the ugliness of suffering, sickness, and growing old. Life and the care of it is not always pretty.

The realist in me demands that I admit this. The human in me runs from this cross. But there are times we have to be Simon of Cyrene, even when we protest loudly and fretfully.

So...for all you Simon of Cyrenes out there tonight...walking the walk, carrying the cross, supporting the crucified body of Christ...we are...walking with you in prayer tonight....

The Paschal Mystery Renewed

"I stand alone at the hospital window looking down. Votive lamplights burn their nighttime vigil over a twilit parking lot void of white horses and golden chariots, no gladiators or princes to ward off the phantom who silently glides out the back door, no hope of happily ever after. It’s just me and the parking lot, a gaping carless receptacle where earlier I could not find a single space to park my car. It now stands like the catacombs of old, mournfully vacant.

"There is no life, no beckoning, no forward motion; only stillness and darkness that lingers. Oil spots anoint the spots of healers and ministers.

"A car passes on the road beyond, then three. A car turns into the vacant parking lot, then two. The car shifts, quivers, purrs, then is still. The headlights flicker, then go dim.

"Silent, reverent figures walk across the parking lot and enter beneath the moth-enshrouded lights. It is not a place one comes willingly. I know. These are not the family troubadours who have come to herald new babies into the family. Those will come later in the day. These visitors are the soldiers, the family warriors, who have come to cradle, cleanse, comfort, and console the body of Christ. They come to renew, refresh, and revive those who kept watch at Calvary."

:: read the rest here :: Paschal Mystery Renewed

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