Well, it’s been a week. One week ago today we brought my dad into the hospital. The nurses that were here that first night are starting a new shift and some were surprised and pleased to see that he is still with us.
A little information about myself, I’m a people watcher. I like to keep to myself and evaluate how humans interact with each other. Here is what I’ve learned this week.
People come to the hospital with hope. Even for someone like me, that has an eternal perspective, I am trusting that because the doctors are skillful in their craft they will put my dad in the best position to win.
My dad came to the hospital in an ambulance. We left 20 minutes after he did. We arrived with no expectations other than hope. Even though we put our hope in Christ Jesus others that may not believe in that sort of thing still arrive at the hospital with hope.
Family members bring their sick loved ones to the hospital and wait. They wait for the expert to arrive to give them an update. Playing the waiting game can be difficult. The thoughts that are in your head range from the extreme positive and the extreme negative. Discussions come up between those waiting that show where they may be leaning within that scale.
Now think of the doctor. The doctor has years of experience in that scale. They have seen both the good and bad extremes and what it can do to the families or visitors that are waiting for their news.
Think there is a lot of pressure there?
I think so, I can’t imagine what a doctor may feel like if a visitor said something like “you told me that they might make it. Now they haven’t, I’m going to sue.” I know, kind of extreme but that’s my point. There are extremes on both sides.
On Wednesday night my brother and I were talking to a nurse about when my dad’s breathing tube may come out. Originally the doctor thought it would be Friday. That thought has changed recently by the staff here but hey, it still could happen right? We pressed her for an answer and she finally said, “Well, it’s not likely but yes, anything can happen.”
Which brought this response.
Chris and I were having a little fun with the nurse and she smiled and chuckled as she walked away. As I’ve mentioned before smiles are worth their weight in gold. If I could get a $1 bill for everyone here that needed to purchase a smile because they couldn’t drum up one on their own, my debt problems would be gone.
I was heading out while Chris walked back in to my dad’s room. Then I realized I forgot something so I went back to the hallway and saw the nurse that we were just talking to get pulled over by someone that looked like her superior or trainer.
“Say ‘no’ without hesitation” she said. She was talking about the exchange Chris and I had with her about the tube coming out on Friday.
The nurse that received the instruction apologetically nodded her head in agreement. This made me sad but also made total sense.
No wonder there is a feeling of hopelessness in every hospital I’ve been this last year. The underlining current is to say ‘no’ or ‘not likely.’
I’m not even coming down on that strategy. Without Christ I can understand why a facility would want to set expectations low. Shoot, in sales, I set low expectations all the time so when I do execute my awesome service their reaction is an extra positive one. If I don’t it met their expectations. Win win right?
For sales, yes, for literally hundreds and hundreds of people that are putting hope into modern day medicine, no. In fact if the hospital doesn’t want to bring Jesus into the mix can we at least borrow Tony Robbins? Positive thinking produces fantastic results.
Most of the doctors we’ve seen are not believers. Can you imagine if they were? I think the conversation would go something like this.
Doctor enters the room and takes a seat next to a crying wife and 13 year old boy. Their husband and dad has just been in a car accident. He is severely injured and may lose his right leg.
Doctor: Hi Mrs. Jones I have some good news.
Wiping her tears Mrs. Jones looks at the doctor who’s smile warms away her fear. She reaches her arm over her son who has lifted his head from within his hands.
Mrs. Jones: O thank God! What is the news?
Doctor: We were able to save your husband’s life. It looks like the only thing we may have to do is amputate his right leg.
Mrs. Jones: Amputate??? O know, please, no!
Mrs Jones burst into tears and squeezes her son. The doctor leans over and puts his hand on her shoulder.
Doctor: Mrs. Jones, your husband is alive. We are going to amputate in 45 minutes. But only if we have to.
The doctor turns to the boy, smiles and grabs the boys hand.
Doctor: Will you pray with me and your mom? That the Lord will heal the infection in your dad’s leg?
Mrs. Jones: Pray?
Doctor: Yes, I believe that God can do miracles. He already has; your husband is alive. We have a few minutes before we have to amputate and I would like to see God heal him completely.
Mrs. Jones: But I don’t believe in God, you are the expert doctor why do we need to pray?
Doctor: Trust me, I know what I’m doing, and my evaluation is we have to remove the leg to save your husbands life. The infection will eventually spread. Since I’ve done everything I can do already, let’s give God a try. If the infection remains we will remove the leg as planned. What do you have to lose?
Distraught she slowly brings her hands together as if to signify she is ready to pray. Her son also put his hands together.
Doctor: Dear Lord, we thank you for the miracles you’ve already accomplished for Mr. Jones. Lord you are the ultimate healer and we love you for that. We ask right now Jesus that you remove the infection in his leg, remove it completely, this we believe in Jesus name.
Mrs. Jones: Amen.
What happens next is irrelevant to my point. In this scenario we have a doctor not imposing his beliefs but presenting the facts with a positive spin.
1. The doctor confidently says ‘we saved his life’ as the first acknowledgement of a miracle. 2. The doctor informs the remaining facts that there is an infection but let’s pray that God would heal this quickly so we don’t have to amputate.
The doctor took the hope of his patient’s wife and son and fueled it with the thought that Jesus could heal their loved one. What’s the risk? Well, the risk that this doctor has along with all of us scaredy cat Christians, we don’t want to disappoint anyone including our self. If only we didn’t care about that and focused on the hope that God can heal.
Would it be that bad? Really?
Everyone that comes to a hospital already has hope. Doctors have the ability to fuel that hope but only if their backing is from something eternal. Currently, the MO of the doctors I’ve seen is to be serious, not smile and not look directly into the soul of who they are talking to. They can’t afford to fuel your hope.
I pray the Lord will rock the medical profession. It would be great to start now but based on what I see from Generation X and the Millennials it may have to start with what I call the 4X Generation. The generation that started in 2003, the first generation of a new cycle and one that will usher in the next spiritual awakening because their tired of a hopeless, godless world that we are on pace for.
If you are reading this and are a Doctor that believes in Jesus try smiling, making eye contact, and even lead me in prayer for that will only fuel my hope.