It was the holiday season, just before Christmas. If you have never worked in a hospital, let me tell you, every day is a challenge but the holidays tend to bring out the best, and unfortunately, the worst in people. Emotions run high, tempers flair, good will all around!
But right in the middle of what you think might turn out to be the worst day ever... a seed is planted... a light shines, and a ray of hope is born.
When I first met Robert and Mary, I had to go into the room they were in to pick up some equipment for the cardiac operating room. They were a nice couple in their late 60s from the east coast. While on a trip to California. Robert started to experience some chest pain and it took his wife some work to convince him to come in and be seen.
After being admitted to the hospital for some tests, the couple's children and grandchildren sent them tons of wonderful pictures, which Mary quickly put up on the walls surrounding her husband's bed.
A few days later, I ran into Mary in the hall. She had a look on her face that caught my attention. She asked me if I would please talk to Robert because he was very depressed thinking that he may not make it home to his family before Christmas, or make it home at all!
When I walked in the room I saw a man almost broken, his eyes red and wet with tears. You would think that as a compassionate person, my focus would be on him, but the picture wall had grown to cover most every wall in the room and I couldn't take my eyes away! It was the look of joy in every face, the notes of hope, love, and get well soon that dug deep into my heart.
Robert went on to explain how he had worked very hard his whole life, but always made time for family. Between he and Mary, they made the house look like a winter wonderland for the kids and now grandkids.
He then paused, looked at the floor, and admitted that this would be the first Christmas he would not be there.
So many emotions were spinning around inside of me that it was hard to grasp a single thought. Then, everything stopped! A peacefull voice spoke to me, my heart filled with joy because God had given me a message for both of them. I thanked God for his words of wisdom, then I said,
"What do you mean, you won't be there!"
When I heard my self, I kind of bit my lip because it sounded more like an accusation, but I went on. I told him to look at the pictures that now covered the room. I said, "Look at these faces, these are people that are well loved. You and Mary started a legacy of love that will carry on well after we are all gone."
There seemed to be a look of thanks in his smile. He slowly looked around the room until he met his wife's gaze. By that time both had tears, but they were now tears of joy!
After they both thanked me again, I went back to work with a big smile on my face, and a light heart. I never saw Robert or Mary again, but because of this brief moment in time I knew I would never be the same.
In John 3:16 it says, " For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." He became a living sacrifice to start a legacy of love that will last until He returns. Robert and Mary did well to pass that down and at the same time, gave me courage to do the same. It started with Jesus, the responsibility to keep it going falls on us, but we can't do it alone. So...
Wake Up Christian