Monday, November 16, 2009

Abide with me.

Yesterday was a long and strange day.

After church, we went to a funeral for one of the older members of our church. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago, and honestly, our prayer has been that he would die quickly, and at home. He loved being home. He was born, lived his whole life, and died, all within a 2 mile radius. And our prayers were answered. He lived by himself until the end. His funeral was brief, but sweet.

I was also scheduled to work in the ER yesterday. Because of the funeral, I was running late, and drove almost straight from the funeral to the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital, I also had a patient who was ready to have her baby. I ran in, put on my gown and gloves, and then 3 pushes later had a beautiful little baby girl.

Then, I started my ER shift. Just before I arrived to the ER, a five year old had come in and died. A five year old. Apparently due to an ATV accident. The ER doctor was shaken. The nurses were crying. Even though I wasn't there when he came in, I had arrived just in time to see the parents get there. Watched as they were put into an empty room. And heard his mom's screams as she was told. It was awful. Horrible.

And I thought back to the funeral earlier, and the birth I had just attended. The highs and lows of this life. And loved again the hymn we sang at the funeral, and thought how it was just what I had needed on that day, and what I am praying for all three families.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

2 comments:

gretchen from lifenut said...

What a stirring, heartbreaking, but uplifting post. I don't know how doctors do it, really. You see all sides, daily, relentlessly.

My heart goes out to that poor mama who lost her child. God.

The Howell family said...

Amen