8.11.2006

Blessed hands

I just got done watching part of the Oprah show from today and I feel so humbled, touched and inspired. There was a segment on a little boy who was stabbed six times and left for dead by his own father after watching his mother be murdered first.

There are sooooo many parts of this story that got to me I don't even know where to begin! First of all, this little boy was amazing! When Oprah asked him how he survived when his dad came back he said "the angels told me to play dead". And asked how he got to the phone to call 911, he said "the angels lifted me up to the phone." What a reminder that we are surrounded at all times with love and protection. How many times have we been saved from injury and weren't even aware of it? I can only imagine. Yesterday morning on the way home from work I was stopped and waiting to make a turn and glanced up at my rear-view mirror just in time to see a big red van swirving around the back of me at about 50 mph, just barely missing my car....he hadn't seen me stopped there. At that moment I was immediately reminded of God's presence and a prayer went up thanking him for his protection and for my guardian angels. God is so good...even on our worst days!

Another part of this story that got to me was when they brought the paramedics on that saved the little boys life. One of the acknowleged just how bad off the little boy was and he said that at that moment he said a prayer to make sure that there were a second "pair of hands" helping to save this child. He said "I know they're always there, but I really needed guidance at this moment."

This was actually my favorite part (naturally, being a nurse and all!). I'll never forget my very first job after graduating from nursing school...it was at St. John West Shore hospital. During the first week (orientation) on the last day you had to go to the chapel for a "blessing ceremony". Several prayers were said blessing you as a caregiver, blessing the patients, and then one blessing your hands...because they were the vessel that care was delivered through. After that they anointed your hands with oil on the front and the back in the shape of a cross. Then you also had to attend one of the ceremonies and get re-annointed at least once a year as long as you worked there. That moved me so much that (of course) I was the only crying in the room. It was just sooooo moving to me. It reminded me just what a sacred and blessed mission I have as a nurse and I also decided right then and there that unless I had no other choice, I would only work at faith-based institutions. Secular hospitals would never consider praying over my hands and anointing them!

A few weeks ago at work they had some kind of a poster contest between floors. You had to make a display of what you viewed as something important to medicine, or a value of your floor, etc. Most of them were nice but really boring to me. They were on everything from learning another language to better communicate, food pantries, etc. Yeah, yeah...very nice...I get it. But then the very last one I went to got me. I stopped dead in my tracks and my eyes watered up as soon as I saw it because without even reading it, I knew what they were after. It was a huge tri-fold display and all around it were pictures of sets of hands...palms uplifted...of every person that worked in their department. Each picture then had the name of the person underneath and also a list of his or her positive qualities and what the offer to the people around them. WOW!

Whenever I'm asked what part of a person I look at first, I almost always say their hands...and that's because I truly believe you can tell a persons character by the way they use their hands. The way the handle things...the way they touch. It says alot about what's really going on inside of them.

Thank you Lord for my hands. The hands that touch the ones I love, the hands that I lift in worship to you, the hands that help to heal the sick you send me. Amen.

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