hospital love.

 

I am weird, {for more than this reason, I know} but I really like hospitals.  I like being the patient and the mother.  I feel safe. When I am the patient, I have trained people caring for me and I don’t burden my loved ones.  I am also more forgiving and patient with strangers, and a sucker for pain meds.

When I am here with my kids, (I am writing from a chair next to Brooklyn as she recovers from a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy at Children’s), I feel free. Free to be the mom and not the doctor. Sure, I catch puke, change diapers, and try to nurse her back to health….but at home I don’t have a red nurse button I call for help. I also have to only care for one kid at a time.

And, I like being here alone. I don’t have to fight for attention between daddy and Ama. I don’t have to share the bed (with daddy, not Beeba). Kinda selfish, but I like being the one they want for comfort.  I also feel weirdly relaxed. Because of all the wires and beeps, I feel like someone is watching her so I don’t have to worry. We don’t have things at home they are connected to that tell us something is wrong or the people who would rush in, and fix it.

I know, I’m weird.

I guess if something goes wrong, a hospital is the only place I want to be.  The temperature, the sterile smells, the white noise, the drugs, it all puts me to sleep. Literally, I struggle to stay awake when I am in a hospital. Did I mention the way I cope with emotionally stressful things is sleep? I was napping when I got the call about Jayden having Sanfilippo.

Hospitals also force me to stop. Nothing like a hospital visit stay to make you sit still. No laundry, no distractions, no “to do” lists. No one trying to get a hold of you, no expectations to do or be anything but present for your loved one or resting. Between the dosing, I can check Pinterest, catch up on blogs, and even skim Facebook.

Hospitals also give me laser-sharp perspective. You can’t focus on much else when you’re at a hospital. Things get done without you, whether you like it or not.

Clearly, the one thing that sucks is (typically) the WHY you are here. It is never a spa weekend.  But, even though the reasons are not that great for being here, I have a growing appreciation of God’s provision in times such as these.  We are so blessed to even have access to an American hospital.

Funny. When I think hospital, I think hospitality, or rest. Or a common word pricture as the church as a hospital for broken people. When I googled “hospital”, this is what I found at http://www.christianforums.com;

The word hospital comes from the Latin word hospitalia, which means an apartment for strangers and guests.

 

The practice of hospitality was enjoined as a virtue upon the early Christians. In the early Christian times, hospitalia was a place where strangers and pilgrims were received and cared for. At that time, it was more a place of hospitality than of medical treatment.

 

{my thought: I wonder if many sick made the pilgrimages also looking for healing, and a hospital was meeting a need on their journey?}

In the early Christian times, Christians were encouraged to make pilgrimages to the many holy places of the Middle East. For several centuries, travelers from Western Europe made their way into this part of the world. Many of these pilgrims travelled without money, believing that they would receive assistance on their way from other accommodating Christians. Many hospitals were established, particularly in remote and dangerous places. These services were extended as tangible gifts in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

 

Many of the great hospitals can be traced to the period directly following the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., when the bishops of the Church were instructed to go out into every cathedral city in Christendom and start a hospital.

 

As time went by, medical treatment gradually played a bigger and bigger role in hospitals. From the 16th century onwards, hospitals began to take on its modern meaning as we know it today.

Maybe that is why I feel so connected to hospitals.

I was sharing with a dear friend who adopted over a year ago.  For years, we shared in her journey grieving a miscarriage, years of trying for a child, saving for adoption and becoming new parents 24 hours after getting a call they were selected.  Now, things have settled down, her son is over a year old. I asked her if she missed those harder times when she didn’t see the end in sight, and in someways, she does. I know I look back on those months before and after Jayden’s and Brooklyn’s diagnosis and miss the intimacy and dependance I needed on God and how He carried me.

But, He didn’t just carry me, He also gave me a gift. A gift I could get in no other way then through the valley.  I am reminded of His provision, and built a mental alter so I never forget because I know there are darker times ahead for us. I know there are more hospital chairs, more tears, more sleepless nights, more beeps. I know I will question God, but I want to remember in those times of darkness, He is faithful.

When we were serving at the elderly day center and the food pantry in San Diego this summer, I mentioned this thought to our students. Many of the people we were serving could teach us a thing or two about God’s character in the midst of suffering. When a man who is homeless with barely nothing shares the little he has,  or when someone who is in a storm themselves and takes the time to say thank you with her infectious personality, like our friend Phyllis… it is like God’s character is sometimes best revealed against the background of brokenness.  A light in a dark room is much more noticable than the same light in a sunny room, yet it doesn’t necessarily mean it is any brighter.

But even with all the beauty beneath the suffering, I’m reminded we were not created to want to suffer. It proves so much to me that the world is not how God intended.

 

Revelation 21:1-7 says, Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

I love that promise.

 

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Contentment has a funny way of numbing us to God, doesn’t it? When someone you love is sick, or even having outpatient surgery, you pray a little harder that morning, you become acutely aware of His presence because you NEED Him a little more on surgery day then laundry day. Maybe it’s just me.

Maybe that is what I have grown to love about hospitals. Maybe I am weird. Hospitals bring me into a rich, dependance on God, the way only pain does. Time stops and I rest as everything important comes into focus and God gently reminds me that we were made for so much more.

One thought on “hospital love.

  1. As a family member and a nurse, this touches me deeply. Thank you for your words. I will carry them with me as I walk through the hospital doors to meet the needs of my patients and their families.

    Like

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