Thursday, January 11, 2007

Where, O Death, Is Your Victory?

Several weeks ago, B. was admitted into our Transitional Care Unit.  B. was dying.  When I went into B.'s room, I expected to find a weak, pitiful woman.  Instead I found a pair of bright blue eyes, and a smile that radiated joy.  We talked.  We talked about her medical issues, and how well she'd been doing in her home, and how long she might have.  I discovered a woman who prayed faithfully, loved her God, and was excited to go home, and meet Jesus.

In the next room we had a woman nowhere close to death, who argued with us over changing her pad, convinced that we would charge her for putting on her call light, and who accused us of stealing her medication.  She wasn't senile.  She was just mean, and according to her family, always had been.  The staff disliked going into her room, as one could count on being abused from the moment of entrance to the moment of exit.  She was hateful, and spiteful, and tested my convictions.  I knew that I was commanded to treat her as I would treat my Lord were he to be lying sick before me.  I had to fight my human nature to remain kind in her presence.
B. and my other patient were like night and day.  B. radiated the love of God, and you could see the presence of the Holy Spirit within her.  You could leave B. feeling renewed, even if there had been much to do with her.

B. died this evening.  She waited for her family to leave, and then took the hand of Jesus, and went home.  She lived a long and good life, and while I'm sad to see her go, I'm so excited for her.  For she is not dead, but lives.
For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 5hen the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

1 Corinthians 15:53-55

Thank you, B. for showing me which kind of patient I would one day prefer to be.  Give my love to Sarah, and pray for me, as I will you.  Death will have no victory tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments!