In Our Hospital Johnnies

Sep 4, 2011

My tail is showing!

I’m a nurse and I’ve spent most of my career in hospitals. It skews my perspective because sometimes I feel the whole world is sick or dying. I’ve spent countless hours just listening as people pour out their frustration, shock and disbelief. We know we are mortal beings. But why mom or dad, our husband or child? Why me?

I’ve worked in inner-city hospitals and cared for Russians, Cambodians, Pakistanians, Columbians, HIV-sick and street people. Currently I work at a small hospital in an affluent tourist community. But one thing I’ve learned is when crisis strikes, the playing field is level. We are all the same, especially when you have to put one of those hospital johnnies on. The retired CEO that’s losing a battle with cancer is no different than the homeless drug addict facing death. I see it in their eyes. We are all made in God’s image. We just don’t all respond the same.

Life is uncertain at best. This one thing I know. I have been humbled in the fires of sorrow and loss where everything I believed was tested. I threw a lot of it away, realizing first of all, how insignificant and small my understanding is compared to my Creator, and also realizing that only a few things are worth holding on to. I was humbled again fighting cancer. Yes, I had to wear a johnnie too. And I might add, it helped me to be a little more compassionate towards the patients and families I have under my care.

“Jesus loves me, this I know.”

Funny that one of the things I did learn through all the tempests of life can be found in a children’s song. When Jesus looks at us, He sees through eyes that burn with compassion. Our frailties, our fear. And He is drawing us to Him, everyone. I hope that this one thing I know to be true can be passed along to you, especially if you are sick, or scared or without hope. Jesus is called the Great Physician. And He loves us, especially in our hospital johnnies.