i worked at the hospital this morning..at a very early 6am. i am starting my first rotations as a student nurse on an actual hospital floor. i take responsibility for one patient, and attend to their needs as my skills allow. the neat thing about student nursing is it allows you additional time with the patient. also, we are not skilled enough to handle the truly difficult (ie: painful) procedures, and much of our skills allow for patient care involving time-taking activities. we bathe the patients, bandage wounds, do assessments, check in on them, change linens and help them order breakfast. we assess for wound size, drainage, their general orientation and mental status, and their pain levels. i had an elderly woman as my patient last week. very frail and in much pain. when i came into her room as her attending nurse (scared out of my wits, of course), she was visibly upset. her IV line had come undone due to her rolled, impacted veins, and she didnt tolerate narcotics at all. because of this, she had to endure four faulty IV insertions before it was successful, with a fairly large needle and no anesthetic. i felt my heart drop to my feet. all the sudden, here i was with a scared patient, and i felt helpless.
i had about forty minutes of assessment to complete on this woman, and she was in pain and tired. i immediately shifted to my "industrious" side, briskly asking questions, and feeling the time crunch to get my assignment done. until i looked up.
i had asked a question about her children...and i stopped short as i glanced up and saw her tears.
i ditched the notebook.
i sat with her as she told me about her estranged children, about the numerous falls and loss of health insurance that brought her to that hospital bed. and i realized that Jesus shows up in places we least expect. its exciting. and humbling.
i love finding people inside their story.
everyone has one.
i met a man today who fought in world war II. he had a lovely family, was married for fourty years. but he had lost much of his acclaimed life to the several nights spent drowning in a bottle of alcohol.
what was left of that husband, that soldier, that daddy...
was a tiny, frail old man lying all alone in a hospital room.
he can't speak anymore, and his throat has been replaced by plastic tubing. he can't feed himself, his independence has been switched for a catheter and a feeeding tube. its humbling.
and Jesus is there.
rob bell always talks about "bringing heaven rushing into hell", by becoming part of the Grander story that God is always writing. i have learned this week that the House of God has no walls. john waller talked about it in his new song...about the Body of Christ being so much more than Sunday morning lip-service. last sunday, i watched a daddy share about his precious, deathly-ill four year old, with the highest confidence in the mercy and compassion of a sovereign God. and today, i watched a man mouth to me, around his feeding tube, that he needed water. Jesus is there. both places. the house of God has no walls.
sometimes, loving like Jesus...means draining a feeding tube.
and bathing a patient who cries tears of joy because you took the time to give them a bath.
sometimes it means dressing the wound around a incision
or holding a hand during a fourth IV insertion.
sometimes it means putting down our notebook...so we can see the Story.
because everyone has one.