10 April 2012

How Much Longer?

For the last little while, my posts have been sporadic and shallow; they recount funny moments or light-hearted events.  But consider that a coping mechanism.  I am trying to remind myself that there is Life in our hospital.

I want to tell everyone I encounter about my friend Little H. and the cute things he does . . . because he is an island of light in the midst of a turbulent storm.  And while the pounding of the waves smoothes the rocks overtime, they first have to holdfast, remain solid, and not crumble.


Some days I choose only to feel the victories.  The 20-something with a complete spinal cord injury who spent his days laying on a mat on the floor . . . who will go home being able to lift himself from his mat to a chair . . . who will be able to get himself dressed because he has discovered that he can balance himself while sitting . . . who is no longer satisfied with being absent from his society.

The 4-year-old who was too afraid to learn to hop after his leg was amputated . . . but who has not succumbed to his fears, but is, instead, inspired to move and play.

The woman with the surgical tinker-toys poking from the shattered bones in her leg, who could not breathe from the pain, yet was so determined to get out her bed, to not be limited by the weeks of healing.

But other days, most of them it seems, the pain and suffering that is before me is felt acutely and deeply within me.  And I wonder if it will ever stop . . . if that day of Promise will ever come.

I sense my heart screaming out like the prophets: HOW LONG, O LORD?!  HOW LONG?!

There is something about burn care that draws me in . . . the great need for the suffering to receive care . . . the opportunity to hold the hand of a patient whose life was shattered in a split second and whisper 'you are not alone . . . you may be standing in the shadow of death, but we will walk with you and bring you back to the valley of Life . . . back to the world of the Living.'

But I find, again and again, that it holds a tremendous emotional cost . . . to scrub the swollen charred face of a little girl . . . or the skinless hands of a young man.

Somedays it's just too much.  And I don't understand.

HOW MUCH LONGER?  HOW CAN YOUR PATIENCE-AND-KINDNESS-THAT-BRINGS-REPENTANCE HAVE SUCH GREATER ENDURANCE THAN YOUR CAPACITY FOR WATCHING SUFFERING?

4 comments:

Linda Thomas said...

Bless you, bless  you, bless you. My heart goes out to you and I am keeping you  in my prayers. You are letting God do amazing things in and through you. You are truly the hands of the Lord in very real ways and you are learning things about Him that most of us will never learn. May God's very special grace and mercy surround you each moment of the day and night. I send hugs.

Linda

Deb. said...

Thank you Linda!

Bethany Reamer said...

Thank you, friend, for sharing your heart.  I'm touched by the real-ness of your experience and I so respect your courage to tell about it.  Please keep sharing... I so want to join with you in all parts of your journey... the beautiful stories and the heart-wrenching times.  Praying for you today and sending you a great big bear hug. =)  Much love.

Bobnrobn said...

I wish I could help in more ways than just prayer......HE cares, I care, others care; know you are loved and surrounded by our prayers for you to keep you going just when you are ready to give up (like you do for some of your patients!).  We love you more than words can express.....xoxoxoxox