Last night I had an all night sleepover in the ER. Loads of fun I assure you ;-) ! In the process of being admitted and everything, there were several staff members whom we interacted with. Often I hear people refer to Christians who have a calling to full-time ministry to mean only those who are in occupational ministry such as pastors and missionaries. The reality is that all Christians have a calling to full-time show the love of Christ by ministering to other no matter what pays their bills.
Last night as I was in the hospital I ran into a very mean nurse. I’m not one to quickly say people are mean, but even though I was in intense pain, I greeted her with a smile and was friendly she was very rude. She even made me cry probably because I was already in pain and her remarks added stress. When she left the room, I looked at Stephen and said that I wanted to leave. There’s been such crazy on going health challenges that I’ve had to face and I didn’t want her to add stress to everything. About an hour went by from when she left and I was dreading having her come back into the room.
Fortunately a tall male nurse came in instead. He spoke in a soft tone (which is ENTIRELY appropriate for 3 am unlike the other lady!) and he began to encourage me to do some of the additional tests the doctors deemed necessary even though I’d be there several more hours. He persuaded me in several other areas and brought me a warm blanket, which I hadn’t been offered in my nearly 5 hours there when I was shaking so intensely. From his gentle entrance to the hospital room to his pleasant tone of voice, peace filled my room and my being and my tears stopped.
As he left the room, Stephen said to me, “he’s a Christian”. I was a bit out of it and asked, “Are you sure?” When this nurse named Tony came back into the room to draw my blood and start an IV, he asked us questions and once he found out we were missionaries, he began sharing more direct encouragement from the Lord. I smiled and looked at Stephen once he exited and said, “You’re right!”
We never saw Tony again, but we only saw the mean nurse one more time who came in huffing and puffing, complaining, and treated me very poorly. At this point I’d encountered another kind nurse who was a single mom so I had enough tolerance for this clearly not so happy nurse. I still smiled and was as kind to her as I could be at 6 am after being awake hooked to machines all night lol.
I’m not saying that we aren’t allowed to have bad days and that every nurse working in an ER should be overly happy and chipper. I can’t even imagine what they deal with on a day-to-day not to mention with the night shift drama. However it was apparent how bright one nurse shined against the other. It was obvious that one possessed a relationship with Jesus Christ and while I can’t properly assess where the other person was with the Lord, it surely wasn’t evident if she knew Him.
You might not be working in an ER where people are in great physical pain, but you are interacting with people daily who are hurting and need the love of Jesus. I love Jesus with all my heart and am a missionary, however I definitely need the kindness of the Lord through others. I’m ALWAYS in need of more of Jesus and His presence manifesting through those around me. When Tony entered the room last night, everything changed and I had the peace that I needed to hear God’s voice even in a difficult moment.
Shine where you are! Be the light of Christ in your jobs, your families, and to all whom you meet. You don’t have to be ordained, have a Christian degree, or working for a ministry to minister! You never know the pain that someone might be facing on any level and one word or gesture from you could be the difference between them knowing Jesus or rejecting Him. It doesn’t take a lot to show the love of Christ to someone. Step out and minister to people around you. I found Jesus in the ER last night and he looked like a man in scrubs being kind and encouraging in a difficult moment. Be Jesus to all you meet today!