A Love From Above….
What a day! Denise thought, as she hurried to the elevator. It was already past time to check the patients’ mail and deliver it. There was always a ton of cards and “Get Well” messages left at the front desk every morning for the patients. And here it was, almost time for lunch break. So much had happened!
The elevator door opened, and Denise hastily stepped inside. She squeezed in without noticing the apparent visitors. The day had started out just like any other, she remembered. She had looked in on the Jane Doe patient and found no changes.
She was still unconscious, but stable enough, that she was now in a private room. Some of her bandages had disappeared, leaving only small wounds and bruises which appeared to be healing, but, still no clue as to her identity.
Surely, someone had missed Jane Doe by now! Why hadn’t someone reported her missing? Then she had begun her rounds, as usual, offering magazines, taking menu choices, writing and mailing letters…
But, in room 206, when everything seemed fine, the patient suddenly moaned loudly, grabbed his chest, and fell over! A panic had risen inside Denise as she watched, just for a minute. But, with no response, she quickly pressed the emergency call button.
In came the ‘code team’, and Denise stepped to a far corner, out of their way, horrified. She had watched the immediate, precise actions of the team, as they performed CPR on the patient, and administered medications. The ordeal seemed to take hours. She was very impressed, this being the first ‘code* she had ever witnessed.
But, eventually, the doctor on duty dismissed the team, saying sadly, “Y’all did good, but you can’t win ’em all.” He pulled the sheet over the man’s head gently. He turned, and seeing Denise standing in the corner, away from the crash cart that was being packed away, spoke with compassion to her.
“Hi. Were you the one who called the code?”
“Yes,” Denise murmured, lowering her eyes with a strange feeling of failure.
“You did good.” The doctor assured her. “I can tell you acted quickly, and responsibly, but I guess it was just his time to go. We thought we had him about fixed up. Don’t get to feeling guilty about it, OK?”
He was a very gentle, kind man, Denise thought, as the bell rang on the elevator, and the door opened.
As she quickly stepped out, she ran straight into Roger, knocking his Bible out of his hand. The tears began to flood over Denise’s cheeks, as she stooped to pick it up. and bumped Roger’s head in the process, as he, too, had stooped to pick it up.
“I’m so sorry, Roger,” Denise said sincerely, wiping away the tears as she stood up.
“No problem, Denise. What’s going on? Surely you’re not that upset about running into me. Are you hurt?” Roger looked deeply into her eyes, as Denise tried to regain her lost composure.
“Oh, its just been a wild day, it’s a long story, but 1’11 be alright. Sorry to keep you,” Denie responded, choking back the tears.
“Well, now, I think maybe you need to talk about it. How about lunch? Do you have time?” Roger asked.
“It’s nearly time for my break, but I’ve got to deliver all the patients’ mail first,” Denise explained, as the tears started coming again. “I really do need to talk to someone, Roger. Maybe I do need to take my break, before I start seeing the patients again. It won’t hurt anything, I guess. I only have a thirty minute break, anyway. ”
“Then let’s go to the cafeteria. Maybe you’d better visit the ladies’ room first, and wash those tears away. I’ll wait for you,” Roger said decidedly.
A few minutes later, seated in a secluded area in the cafeteria with a delicious-looking meal sitting in front of each, Roger bowed his head humbly, and gave thanks to God for their blessings.
Denise followed suit, meekly.
Then picking up his fork, he asked, “Now, Denise, what’s happened since I last saw you that has upset you so?”
“Well, I was in a patient’s room, and he asked me to write a letter for him. I got up to pull a chair near his bed, and I just heard him kind of groan real loud, and he grabbed his chest, and his head fell over with his eyes closed, and-and, he was dead!” Denise explained, looking up into Roger’s sympathetic eyes.
“I called a code, but even they couldn’t save him. It’s the first time I ever saw anyone die!”
“Pretty rough on a young girl like you, huh? Well, let me tell you, its rough on anyone, no matter what. We’re never prepared to see someone die, are we? Even if we don’t know them.
I think it reminds us of our own mortality, don’t you?” “Yeah. It was real scary,” Denise answered. “I just couldn’t go through it again! I’ll never forget this, never!”
“In I Cor. 10:13 the Lord said He wouldn’t suffer you, or permit you to be tempted above what you are able to handle, but will with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Roger commented. “And another thing that may help, is if you can understand that the man didn’t actually die, not like we think of death, anyway. You see, a person is actually three parts, just like God is three parts. You know, God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit.
Well, man is a sprit, who has a soul, or the mind, will, and emotion parts, and he lives in a physical body. The man, himself, doesn’t really die, because a spirit is eternal. The spirit of man lives forever. What actually happened to your patient, today, is simply that his spirit left his body. And you can’t live on this earth without a physical body.
But the man is still very much alive, in the spirit world. And our hope is, that he is saved by the blood of Jesus, and if he is, then he will receive a new body, a glorified or heavenly body, essential for living in Heaven, like the one Jesus had after he was raised from the dead. Does that help you to understand it better, or did I just confuse you?”
“I don’t understand it real well, but, I think I get a little bit of the picture,” Denise said, toying with her food. Do you mean the real me will never die, just my body?”
“That’s right. And if we’re a child of God, if we’ve accepted the salvation that Jesus bought for us by going to the cross, then the death of this body is simply a matter of ‘going home’. “You see, Satan is our adversary, our enemy. He used to have the power of death, but Jesus stripped him of that power.
The temptation in a situation like this is to fear, instead of having faith in the Lord. Satan has no power over us, once we’re saved, unless we give it to him. Does that make sense, the way I’ve explained it?”
Denise, studying Roger’s hazel eyes responded hesitantly, “Then how do we give Satan that power? The power that makes us fear?”
“Actually, the fear itself is permission for Satan to act, just as our faith is permission for God to act. You just have to believe that the Bible is true, and that every promise in the Bible is true, and that it’s all meant just for you. You can resist that fear by faith in God, and it has to flee from you.”
“But, I can’t stand to think about ever seeing anyone die again! I just couldn’t handle it!” Denise persisted. “You don’t know what it was like, it happened so suddenly, and there was nothing I could do about it!”
“I know that we can’t avoid the presence of death, it’s anywhere, everywhere! Not just in the hospital, Denise, it’s on the street, and in the movie theater, even in Church. It can happen to anyone, anytime. There’s nothing bad about death, if you understand it, and are ready for it,” Roger continued.
Then, glancing at his watch, looked at Denise with frustration. “Can we talk about this later, when we have more time? You’re staying out at the farm now while your parents are on vacation. How about if I come over later? Would that be OK?”
“Yeah,” Denise said, hesitantly. “I do appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. I really needed to talk about it, I guess. I do want to understand, I really do, but I’m not even sure I believe in a God and a devil.” Denise said. lowering her eyes. “I just don’t know what to believe.” Looking up to meet Roger’s eyes, she asked sweetly, ‘Can you understand?”
“Yes, I can, but I believe with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can help you to believe and understand. It’s really not hard.”
“Well, I’ve really got to get back to my job, but thanks. I’ll see you later, then, at Nana and Papa’s, OK?” she asked, rising from her chair, her meal only half eaten.
Roger, rising politely, agreed.
As Denise returned to the front desk to pick up the mail, her mind continued full of unanswered questions, and, for the first time, a dread of visiting her patients.