It felt like a scene from a movie or an intense medical drama. It wasn’t a romantic scene or even a little hope-filled. It was the scene of trauma, heartbreak, and fear. It felt heavy and sad, and everyone was just moving around me as I took it all in.
I am a child life specialist in the ER at my local children’s hospital. My job is to prepare and support patients and families throughout their healthcare experience. I also provide emotional support to patients and families through trauma, grief and bereavement. Everyday people ask me how I can do what I do. I always answer that I can’t do my job outside of knowing Jesus. I am in the midst of some of the thinnest moments where eternity mingles with the here and now ~ the Kingdom coming. I have a front row seat to His glory every shift I work. I get to see the holy moments when laughter breaks in through tears, when the beauty of the moment is realized in spite of the pain, when Eternity is comforting and makes more sense than the hardest experience. I witness these moments.
Yet some days, my front row seat can be so very uncomfortable. This precious little guy rolled through the door after being hit by a car. His mom and dad were not far behind him. He was awake and alert but definitely struggling. I stood by the mom and dad with my hands on their shoulders explaining what was happening and what we were doing to help their precious little man. Then I hear a sweet, “Mama? Daddy?” I made my way to the head of the bed, leaving the mom and dad to cope alone while I reassured this little guy that his mom and dad were there and were not leaving him. Things went from bad to worse as the medical team struggled to keep him stable. Before I knew it, I was the reporter of pain and responsiveness; he was no longer responding to pain. He had JUST been calling for his mom and dad. The trauma surgeon made his way in to perform one last option. They stabilized the little guy and rolled him out to get pictures of his body and make a plan.
I stood in the room with trash, medical equipment, and needles all over the floor. My chest was tight, and I couldn’t catch my breath. I looked down the hall and saw the nurses rolling the crash cart into the CT room. I knew this was a grave situation, and the possibilities of us saving this little guy were disappearing quickly. The lump in my throat is still there as I write this.
We weren’t able to save this precious little boy that night, and all I could do was pick up the trash and needles covering the floor and talk to Jesus.
It is a humbling experience to witness these stories, to see the doctors, nurses, and medics mourn, to watch the family crumble. All I can do is call on Him ~ Daddy, come. I must call on Him on behalf of the patients, the families, and my co-workers. Holy Spirit come, be near. Early on in my career, these events would ruin me, and it was difficult to see Jesus or His glory in any of these experiences. Now I know and believe He is with us in every moment. My job is to call on the Holy Spirit, ask for His mercy, pray for a miracle, and surrender to His almighty ways.
I have learned not only in my job but also in marriage and motherhood, even in the surrender, He is always near. We must acknowledge His glorious presence. He is not unaware of the moments or watching from afar. He is intimately present and aware of all our moments. Just like the mom and dad who never left their little man’s side, He is indeed always with us.
Father God, may we KNOW your nearness and feel your touch even in the most difficult and desperate moments. May we call on You in everything. Thank you for never leaving us.