Monday, March 9
John 15: 9-12 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
A couple of years ago, my job changed. I transferred from a pediatric rehab nursing unit to a pediatric acute care unit. This unit was for pediatric patients who had a variety of medical problems ranging from the flu to complex congenital disorders to cancer. My biggest fear in this transition was taking care of the kids with cancer. I thought, “This is going to be so sad and depressing, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this.”
After being on the unit for about a year, I voiced this concern to my co-workers. Their reactions surprised me. They pointed out that oncology patients are not the only patients who die. So, why should taking care of them be any different or affect me any differently? This revelation got me to thinking. It brought me back to my faith and remembering that dying is part of life…just as much as living is part of life. In fact, one of the reasons I love working with kids is because they really know how to live in the present!
Kids don’t let any diagnosis affect their living day to day. I remember one little boy who wanted to help me flush his central line by holding it. I had several other things to do, but realized that allowing this boy to “help” would be the most efficient way. So, we went through the entire process of “gelling” (washing) his hands and waiting for them to dry. Of course, a 5 year old doesn’t “sit and wait.” He flailed his hands around, willing them to dry and then quickly wiped them off down the front of his pajamas to finish the job. I just looked at him and asked him in a silly voice, “Now, are those pajamas really clean?” He burst out laughing, one of those deep belly laughs. How can I not love working with great kids like this boy?
During the season of Lent and Easter we are reminded of the everlasting life that is ours. God gave his only Son for us so that we may LIVE! The package deal, Christmas and Easter, birth and death, are part of the amazing gift of everlasting life that God has given to each and every one of us. So, let us embrace this gift and live our lives to the fullest. Praise God!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for your many gifts, especially for your gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ. Help me to embrace the love you have freely given to me and to share it with others. Amen