With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
I am so excited for today’s devotion! Such a cool “God-thing happened while John was at the hospital! This story is a true one and the main character is a health-care worker named Roy. Roy Dillard, if you are reading this, thank you, again, for your dedication to others and to the Lord. You never had to tell me you were a believer. I just knew. Your name tag read “Clinical Associate” but you were a much-needed angel that day. Thank you for giving me permission to share this story.
The following is what I actually wrote on April 13, while John and I were at the hospital for about 12 hours. This may be the beginning of a book I want to write, so it is a bit scary to start. There are so many stories of love to tell:)
I met the sweetest Carillion employee today. Although his tag said “Clinical Associate”, I would call him a much-needed angel.
So, I am sitting in a hospital room, all set up for a long day of tests for my husband John. His heart has several serious issues that need looked at, so today is an information-gathering day for us all. The surgeons will poke and prod by way of a scope and then a catheterization. They will put a camera down his esophagus and a catheter to his heart. It dawns on me this moment that God knows the condition and issues of his heart, even though we do not have a clue. The doctors are going in to see what God already sees. I trust You, Lord, to help the doctors get to the root of his heart issues. Thank you for them as they are making a difference in our lives for the better.
I am considering how caring and compassionate the healthcare workers are. Do they ever get tired of serving others? Just then a “Clinical Associate” comes in to hook John’s heart monitor up. He is wearing a wooden amulet of sorts, around his neck. I wonder about it, but instead I blurt out, “Don’t you ever get tired of taking care of everyone?”
He looked kind of shocked, but then slowly answered… “People come in here all vulnerable and scared. They have serious conditions. They face their own mortality.”
I wondered how this answered my question, and seeming to catch my thoughts, he said, “Tina, It’s not just me helping people. It’s how they help ME. Their strength, their courage helps ME.” Can I tell you a story?”
“Of course,” I replied, intrigued. Here is the story that Roy told to me about a lady patient that I will call “Helen,” although Roy never told me any names.
“Helen” was in here for a serious heart condition, as are most of the people I see. She asked me if she could tell me a story. She patted the bed for me to sit beside her. I did. I felt bad that she was having to face difficult things. What she told me was a story from her youth.
When this lady was about the age of 14 or so, she was on a school bus on her way to school. She and her friends always sat together in the front of the bus. At one of the bus stops, some black kids got on and instantly went to the back of the bus, as was the norm at the time. She wondered why that had to be, so she turned to the back and told some of the black kids to come sit with her. However, as the invited kids considered it, Helen’s own friends thought she was crazy. They were saying things like, “What are you doing? You can’t do that! and Don’t let them come up here. They belong in the back.” So, after consideration of losing her friends, “Helen” turned back around to them, not wanting them to be mad at her.”
Helen felt such regret for years and years that she did that. She never told anyone until she told me. She dared, after seventy-some years, to ask me, a black man, to sit with her, something she did not have the courage to do when she was young. She apologized to me, saying something like, “I know you are not one of those kids, but I feel so bad that I never apologized to those kids, so I want to apologize to you and anyone of your race. I am so sorry I did that. I did not stand up to my friends and did not make friends with the kids in the back. They did not deserve to be treated that way. I was so very wrong.”
I forgave her and thanked her for sharing that with me. It meant a lot, her having the courage to tell me that story. That’s what I mean when I say I get more from them than I give. She blessed me that day!”
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I teared up. He told me he teared up, too, when Helen told him the story. I felt the pain and regret of Helen. It had been building up for years. I also felt the love in the story. Helen loved and appreciated Roy’s care of her and that must have given her courage to tell him a difficult story and admit her wrongdoing. I told Roy this..
“Roy, love made her do that. You cared for her, then she cared for you. She told you a love story, then you told me one and now I will tell others with your permission. As Helen blessed you, you have blessed me, Roy. You are a black man and I am a white woman. You told me that story with courage, knowing I would love and accept it, didn’t you? Helen’s love went to you and yours comes to me and now mine will go to someone else. Love travels like that. Love has many stories to tell. Thank you for sharing that with me. You are here to take care of John and you just worked on MY heart real good.”
Or maybe the beginning. Love does have many stories to tell. Maybe I will tell you another story sometime:)
I truly love and appreciate you all. May God bless you real good today!