Lessons from a Monday

I worked a 12 hour shift today.  It was a good day.  Less stressful than the day I wrote about here, but still busy.  A good busy.  Not a I-have-no-idea-what-happened-in-the-past-12-hours busy.  We had a couple of admissions at the end of the shift which made for a very busy end of shift. 4 to 7 PM went by in 5 seconds flat and I accomplished about 20 things in that period of time in an ever-changing order of importance.

After work I drove to my son's club baseball tryouts and listened to the 11 year old version and 44 year old version of The Wallet and Tablet That Was Stolen From the Truck story.  I watched the 13 year old make a couple of great hits (or crush the ball as he would put it) and then drove the 11 year old home so he could be in bed before 10:30.

While I was driving home some small epiphanies were dawning on me:

  1. It's so helpful to try and understand another person's point of view.  Trying to explain to a frustrated nursing assistant why I could understand her frustration with patient so-and-so but if she could just try to put herself in patient so-and-so's shoes she might be less frustrated, I realized what a gift it is to be able to be a nurse. A nurse gets patients of all kinds.  Patients are people.  They had moms and dads, whether they knew them or not.  They may or may not have kids.  They had jobs and previous battles with illness.  They may have estranged children and unconventional living circumstances.  They probably have a story behind their rudeness, or impulsivity, or confusion, or fear, or flat affect or foul smell.  Taking the time to listen to people (patients) takes time.  Time away from charting and tasks on the task list.  And that's ok.  Taking time to listen makes a difference in people's lives and makes us better people.  Nurses get to do that in a way most of us don't.  When the cashier is rude at the checkout we don't really have time to ask them about where they're from or if they have kids or why they are where they are.  But nurses do.  In fact, admitting a patient to the hospital can be a great exercise in listening and trying to understand another person.  It's a special opportunity.
  2. One should never leave a wallet full of cash ($430 to be exact) and an electronic tablet sitting in an unlocked car at a high school while one drops one's child off at baseball practice.  This a mouth-full of humble pie for one who is a law-enforcement officer.
  3. The Christian Church should be like a good nurse:  She seeks the wellness of those who come to her even if it seems to hurt them at times.  She does not condemn the broken ones who come to her for being broken.  She gives of herself to minister to them the orders of the Great Physician for their wholeness.  
  4. My thoughts after reading 1 Peter- If you can't love and serve the foul-mouthed, arrogant, perverse, flippant, reckless cranks and jesters around you while refraining from the foulness, arrogance, perverseness, flippancy, complaining and levity they slander you for not joining them in, you haven't really begun to taste Christ in you.  Christ in you is what it means to be a Christian.  And Christ in you will compel you to lay down your life to love and serve others with grace and truth whether they malign you or praise you.  Whether they cherish you or take advantage of you.  Whether they treat you with respect or utterly disregard you. Because you want them to join you in the joy of being brought to God.   I've barely begun to taste and I want more.  It's crazy.
All on a Monday.

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God..." 1 Peter 3:18


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