“People die from this infection; this is serious; do not take it lightly,” said the ER doctor to us before discharge. My wife of 43 years was sick and in pain – bent over pain. Showing up at the ER just after midnight on a Saturday (Sunday morning really) is a busy, if not overwhelming place to be. I was so concerned for the woman in my arms who could barely stand up from the excruciating pain she was experiencing in her abdomen.
“What’s your birthdate, your phone number, your address?” All seemed to be questions that we really could do without right now. “Please have a seat, we’re really busy with many trauma situations tonight,” was what we were told while being handed a small round pod as if we were waiting for a restaurant table. I had the feeling we were going to be placed on a low priority list. But it wasn’t long until an IV shot strong pain medicine into Mary and then later an antibiotic. And finally, two hours later, a CAT scan.
Meanwhile I began observing the many people around us, none smiling, all needing immediate attention. I found myself not only praying for my wife, but those in the ER rooms we passed. Sitting with Mary and holding her hand, I heard screams repeatedly. Then I heard a police officer reading someone his Miranda rights. After that a police officer telling someone they were under arrest for DUI and refusing a blood test.
Wow, no wonder hospitals, medical staff, ER’s are so full of compassionate, Christ-filled called ones. Every patient needs immediate attention, medical care and a right diagnosis. Every ill one needs patience, kind words, an advocate and a smile. Hospital staff, all treating every human being with love and the very best care they’ve been trained to provide.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if human kind treated each other with the same understanding and compassion? No one asked us if we believed in medicine. No one asked us our political persuasion. No one asked us our financial status and not one asked us about our theological doctrine. No one was there to argue, just show care, compassionate treatment and kindness.
Daily we are faced with persons who are sick in their soul. How compassionate am I? How much time am I willing to take with them? Do they feel accepted, comforted, listened to and important around me? “God, I pray I see the need in the lives of those around me and respond with loving, Jesus-filled care and compassion.” As it is written, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (I Peter 3:8)
Mary is recovering now at home from a severe kidney infection and a kidney stone that needs to exit her body. Praise God for hospitals, medicine, emergency rooms and those extraordinarily kind and understanding medical personnel who work tirelessly.