I posted this almost a year ago. I think it is a good reminder to myself, so I wanted to post it again.
I have spent multiple hours waiting around the hospital all week. If you don't know why, see my post here. In these hours I observed a great deal of people and situations.
In the initial waiting room of the ER, I watched an elderly gentlemen on a stretcher being transported to a psychiatric hospital. In the post assessment room, I saw a student with either a deformity or a large amount of swelling in his head/on his brain. He sat in a wheelchair with a hole in his shoe and a thin jacket on to keep him warm from the harsh wind that night. He was alone. That room also housed a husband and wife. The wife was in a wheelchair and crying.
Once we were given a room in the ER, the room across from us had a number of people pass through. The first, a woman who had surgery recently, was discharged but began throwing up once home. The second, a man in a wheelchair bent over in pain. His clothes were tan and I could hear him moaning in pain. His feet and hands? Handcuffed to the wheelchair. He was escorted by a police officer. The last patient I remember was someone I saw in the initial waiting room. He was also hunched over in pain. His face gaunt. His coat was about 3 sizes too big and his winter hat sat atop his head, not covering his ears. He was a homeless man.
For about an hour my chair was positioned in the hallway between two floors. To the right was the ER exam room floor and to my left was the pediatrics floor. Hospitalized babies filled the beds that night. As I sat there I could hear the cry of a baby that sounded like a one year old. It wasn't a cry of need or discontentment. It was a cry of desperation and pain. I found myself pleading with the Lord to give this baby, whose face I didn't know, some relief and rest. The babe continued to cry off and on for about 10 minutes, and then, from the silence, I assumed he was able to finally rest.
I walked down the hall to the bathroom several times and each time I walked by one of the empty beds for babies in the hospital. The kind that we have all seen Stellan in through MckMama's pictures. I pictured all those parents who just want to hold their children and bring them home to their own bed, yet all they can do is reach their arms through the bars of the bed to comfort their child, letting them know they are close.
My mind raced knowing large quantities of parents walk the hallway of the pediatric wing every day for days and weeks on end. Millions of tears have been shed in that wing and in that hospital.
Yet, there I sat with warm winter boots on my feet, without a hole. My family was together. My coat fit properly. I had a home to go to and have never known the feeling of watching my child sit in a hospital bed, feeling hopeless.
It doesn't mean the Lord loves me anymore than He loves each person I observed. He loves us all equally.
It doesn't mean I have good luck and they have bad luck- I don't believe in it.
I means that I am responsible to take what the Lord has given me to give back to Him. It means sitting in that hallway looking for ways to extend His love to those who are hurting. It means praying for one another, even when we don't know their face or even their name.
It means no matter how bad things become, the Lord walks with us.
It means the elderly, the homeless, the incarcerated, the emotionally exhausted, the 24 year old grad student, and the wife with no answers have hope. That not one moment of their life goes unnoticed. There is hope in the One who created them.
Even in the darkest hours of life, there is always hope.
"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."