for the Helpless
an article in Campus Life a
young nurse writes of her pilgrimage in learning to
see in a patient the image of God beneath a very “distressing
was one of her first patients, a person who was totally helpless. “A
cerebral aneurysm (broken blood vessels in the brain) had left her with
no conscious control over her body,” the nurse writes. As near as the
doctors could tell Eileen was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain
and unaware of anything going on around her. It was the job of the
hospital staff to turn her every hour to prevent bedsores and to feed
her twice a day, “what looked like a thin mush through a stomach
for her was a thankless task. “When it’s this bad,” an older
student nurse told her, “you have to detach yourself emotionally from
the whole situation…” As a result, more and more Eileen came to be
treated as a thing, a vegetable. But
the young student nurse decided that she could not treat Eileen like the
others had treated her. She talked to her, sang to her, encouraged her
and even brought her little gifts.
day when things were especially difficult and it would have been easy
for the young nurse to take out her frustrations on the patient, she was
especially kind. It was Thanksgiving Day and the nurse said to the
patient, “I was in a cruddy mood this morning, Eileen, because it was
supposed to be my day off. But now that I’m here, I’m glad. I
wouldn’t have wanted to miss seeing you on Thanksgiving. Do you know
this is Thanksgiving?” Just
then the telephone rang, and as the nurse turned to answer it, she
looked quickly back at the patient. Suddenly, she writes, Eileen was
“looking at me … crying. Big damp circles stained her pillow, and
she was shaking all over.”
was the only emotion that Eileen ever showed any of them, but it was
enough to change the whole attitude of the hospital staff toward her.
Not long afterward, Eileen died. The young nurse closes her story,
saying, “I keep thinking about her …
It occurred to me that I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen, I
might never have known what it’s like to give myself to someone who
can’t give back.” *
WE were helpless in our sins, Jesus Christ gave Himself for us that we
might be saved from our sins (Galatians 1:4).
“For when we were still
without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans
can accept the GIFT of salvation... through our trusting faith
(Acts 16:30-31) by turning from our sins in repentance
(Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus
before men (Romans 10:9-10), by being baptized
(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), and by
living obediently to His will for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).
offers HELP for the HELPLESS!
When we could do NOTHING to save ourselves, He provided the way
for our salvation by dying on the cross for us.
Our response should be one of extreme GRATITUDE that is
demonstrated by our trusting obedience to His will.
will YOU respond?
A. Sargent, Minister
of Christ at Creekwood
Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695
* Steven Chapman,
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