I MARRIED A NURSE.
A few years later, we had a baby.
She grew up.
Now I have two nurses in my family.
I’m thinking about nurses not only because it’s National Nurses Week. It’s because of a phone call we got at 2:16 am on what had become Sunday of this week.
The call came from one of those “Elderly Alert” companies.
My wife’s mother had taken a tumble. She broke her foot. An ambulance took her to the hospital, and her neighbor brought her home after her foot was wrapped.
She lives about 45 minutes away. My wife drove out later in the day to help get her settled and to wash the dishes and do some other housecleaning. On the following day she went back to meet with someone who will get her mom some in-house help during the day.
You don’t have to be a nurse to get calls like that.
But nurses get those kinds of calls – and then some.
Nurses are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not usually by their employer. But absolutely by their family and friends.
Just within the last few weeks, I know my wife has taken calls about a baby that wouldn’t stop crying, a former coworker with an array of physical and emotional problems, and a church friend who had heart bypass surgery. My wife prayed that friend into the surgery, and sat with the wife in the waiting room.
I work as a writer… I’ve never gotten a call for an emergency edit.
But my wife has gotten many calls for medical emergencies. At one time or another I have seen her go running in all four directions from our house, to help neighbors in trouble.
One of our next-door neighbors managed to get himself pinned between his pickup truck and the entrance to his garage. The jack slipped. His daughter ran to our house, and my wife and I both ran to the rescue. My wife got there first.
Another time, in another emergency, there was a little girl down the street who had been born with heart trouble. One evening she started turning blue. My wife rode with her and her mother in the ambulance.
My daughter is much the same way. I recently wrote a blog about how we stopped to help truck drivers who had just crashed.
When it comes to helping others like this, my wife and daughter are not much different from any other nurses. Most nurses – at least the good ones – are caring to the core.
They’re a lot like Jesus. He began his ministry by helping the sick. Not the spiritually sick. He helped the physically sick. That’s how he got the attention of people. Only then did they listen to what he had to say.
Helping sick people was a big deal to Jesus.
He came up with a list of ways to tell a caring soul from a selfish soul. On the list:
“When I was sick, you took care of me,” (Matthew 25:35 CEV).
If we Christians are concerned only about the spiritual well-being of someone, we are no better than the temple priest who walked past the man whom robbers beat up “leaving him half dead” (Luke 10:30 CEV).
The hero of that story is what amounts to a male nurse. We call him the Good Samaritan.
Whatever he did for a living, he was a nurse in that story. For that one moment in his life, he was someone’s hero.
My wife and my daughter are heroes every day they go to work.
So are nurses everywhere.