For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
– Hebrews 6:10
Nurses possess power - “Don’t mess with me — I get paid to poke people with sharp objects.” Nurses possess creativity – “Nurses can’t fix stupid… but we can sedate it.” Nurses must define their boundaries – “Yes, I am a nurse. No, I don’t want to look at it.” However, the role of nurses in our lives was perhaps best expressed when, at the beginning of the pandemic, the government deemed their work essential.
Throughout my ministry, and certainly during my mother’s recent hospitalization, I have had plenteous opportunities to observe the artistry of nurses in action. In the time it takes you to chew a Brach’s caramel, a nurse plays the role of scientist, counselor, personal attendant, pharmacist, peacemaker, philosopher, janitor, engineer, social worker, pastor, interpreter, weightlifter, hazardous waste specialist, information technologist, cheerleader, coach, and … I know I’m missing something .. um … oh yeah … nurse. Also, let’s not forget that the nurse is accomplishing all of this while juggling a hallway full of patients, with a waiting list down in the ER.
After another 12 hours, the nurse shuffles to the employee parking lot, physically spent, emotionally drained, mentally gassed. Yet, tomorrow the alarm will ring and the nurse will clock in for another 12, calming troubled spirits, salving fractured bodies, and restoring disrupted lives. Their value is not reflected in their compensation, nor is it rewarded with gratitude, given that their patients are too overwhelmed and frightened to express their thanks. Nevertheless, I pray that they can take Emerson’s words to heart before their heads hit the pillow after another shift - "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” I am grateful for the privilege of witnessing the many ways our nurses reflect the healing ministry of Christ each and every day. Thank you Susan, Maria, Leslie, Bryce, Jack, Diane, Megan, Bailey, Jett, and every nurse who has walked those halls, pinpointed those veins, calmed our fears, endured us at our worst, and paved the our path toward healing.