Phooft, a glob of mashed pills in apple sauce hit my nurse’s uniform. Smack, my arm glowed with a hand print as Jessie swatted my arm. It had been several weeks since I had been charge nurse on this station. How quickly I forgot that with Jessie I was to put her covers over her arms and under her chin before attempting to give her medications. It would have helped to stay back by her right shoulder, way back out of the range of fire.
“Get out of my room, you old witch and take that nasty tasting stuff with you!” Jessie spit out along with the rest of the meds. Guess I’d have to make a fresh batch and try again.
As I left Jessie’s room to go back to the med cart, I was thinking back to my most recent trip to Guatemala at the children’s orphanage as a missionary. Hum, they were in diapers and about to progress to “big girl panties”. My patients now were regressing to diapers. The Lord had impressed upon me that just because I was qualified, didn’t mean I was called full time to that orphanage. My new husband and I ended up back in California.
As the phone began ringing, I hurried to the desk. It was Dr. Johnson with orders for a new admission.I scribbled them down and looked up in time to see Estelle.
“Humph, whoever said these twilight years were golden never spent them stuck in a wheel chair.”
“You know, Estelle, you could still have a very important job if you’d like,” I reached down for her hand.
“And what might that be?”
“Well. I know you know the Lord. Do you think He still answers prayer?”
“Of course He does!”
“Estelle, I could sure use your prayers for everyday wisdom here at work and I bet your neighbors on either side of you could use some too, do you think?”
“OK, I guess I still can do that!” She wheeled away with a tiny smile on her face.
Now I needed to get vitals in 102. Susan sure had slipped in the two weeks since I have seen her. She had another stroke and can no longer speak.
As I walked into the room her alert brown eyes followed my every move.
“Hi Susan, I am here to take your vitals”
Daughter, have you told her about your Jesus?
Lord, is that You? What could I say? I am really nervous about that …. If this is really You, please give me the words.
“Susan, there is something I’d like to share with you. We have all done things that break God’s heart. Did you know that Jesus died for you and for me? All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and he will make you all clean and new. I know, because He did that for me. Just talk to Him in your heart right here in your room.”
As I looked into her face there were huge tears forming and rolling down her cheeks. We squeezed hands and I left the room.
“I think I am going to take my break now and the Udall family would like to see you when you have a minute,” said Sarah the CNA who was working with me that day.
“OK, I will catch my break when the supervisor gets here.”
That night at home I told my husband about the day.
“Honey, you might not be in Guatemala but things you say could snatch your patient’s souls out of the flames of hell, don’t even be silent.”
I clocked in the next morning and sat down to get report from the night RN. After she was through, I realized I didn’t get an update on Susan.
“How is Susan today?”
“Oh, my, she expired at midnight last night.”
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. What if I had been a chicken and not said anything?
Oh, Lord, help me never to hesitate again and thank you for nudging me to speak.
Guess I am still a missionary of sorts, a golden twilight-years missionary.
The words my husband said the night before echoed in my head “Honey, you might not be in Guatemala but things you say could snatch your patient’s souls out of the flames of hell, don’t even be silent.”
He is quite an encourager and I have listened!
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