Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Scary Patient

First, let me say thanks for the kind comments after my post about my gallbladder surgery. It went very well and I’m feeling so much better. God filled me with incredible peace through the entire process. He actually allowed the surgeon to get me in early, which never happens. Now I’m almost healed up and I’m working on getting my energy back. It’s nice to have the scariest part behind me (the scariest part being the anticipation).

Something extremely cool happened while I was waiting in the pre-op room. In addition to me, a pregnant woman who was having the same surgery, and an older woman, two prisoners were awaiting operations. One went in as I was entering the waiting area. The other came in soon after that. Let’s just say that it didn’t look like they were doing time for unpaid speeding tickets. All of us were relieved to see guards manning their bedsides.

I couldn’t help wondering how the nurses and doctors felt as they prepped these guys. Were they nervous? A part of me expected them to treat the men a little differently. Not that I thought they SHOULD, it just seemed natural to be more guarded.

I noticed that my nurse (Jenny) was also assigned to the second prisoner. It was so touching to overhear her talk to him in the same sweet caring tone that she’d used with me. She offered him extra blankets, made sure he was comfortable, and in every other way treated him like any other patient. I’d already sensed based on some things she’d said to her fellow nurses, that Jenny was most likely a Christian. Her kindness toward this man from jail showed her true Christ-like spirit.

It made me think about my attitude toward people who look rough or scary. Obviously I need to be smart and careful, but am I also kind? Do I see them as monsters or as individuals that God sent His Son for? I saw in Jenny a woman who cared for people as Jesus did—by putting fear aside and looking at the need. What impact did it have on the prisoner, I wonder?

What impact might each of us make if we looked past the surface and treated them as God does. Obviously we won’t all encounter hardened criminals, but we do deal with people who look or act strange, kids with disabilities or from different cultures, and those who are just plain annoying. Do they see any difference in how we treat them?

This is just one of those experiences that made me think. Hopefully it gave you something to think about too.

Now go be nice to someone J.

1 comment:

Jenny B. Jones said...

Glad you came through with flying colors! Happy Thanksgiving!