Thursday, March 8, 2012


As a trauma nurse, I witnessed many unusual things and experienced many unforeseen circumstances.  Like the following, some of those experiences are forever branded in my mind:

It wasn’t uncommon for people to come to the E.R., complaining of one fictitious ailment or another, hoping for their predetermined outcome: drugs, attention, free room and board, etc.  This was particularly common on cold winter nights when the homeless were looking for shelter.  Most of them were in often enough that they were on a first name basis with us!  So that we could make preliminary preparations, when the paramedics radioed in, they would often provide us with gender and initials if they were transporting someone whom we all knew.  Although it isn’t likely today, back in those days, hospitals would often provide a room for the night if it was exceptionally cold outside.  It didn’t take long for word about the hospitals’ unwritten policy to travel the streets and, during really cold spells, the homeless would often relish a long hot shower, delight in a good night’s sleep and savor a decent meal.

One evening the paramedics provided us with information about a female whom they were transporting, but gave no initials.  We prepared for her anticipated needs; however after a brief examination it was evident that she truly didn’t need hospitalization and she was discharged.  She was not a happy camper!

I offered to find her a ride home; the conversation went like this:

“Do you have any relatives or friends whom I can call to come get you?”  She just stared at me.

“What is your address?  I’d be glad to ask the police to take you home.”  She looked right through me!

“Where do you sleep at night?”  “Hardee’s on Harrison,” she responded abruptly!

After spending several nights on a bench at Hardee’s restaurant on Harrison Street, evidently she’d gotten wind of the hospitals’ “standard procedure” and hoped that she’d be granted a room for the night.  She was disappointed that the outcome wasn’t what others seemed to have experienced.

My heart went out to our new E.R. friend.  Her situation reminds me of times in my life when it seemed as though I had no one to call, didn’t know where to turn and that the Provider and Comforter upon whom others had come to depend didn’t seem to be showing up for me:

Where in the universe are You?

What on earth are You doing during these endless dark nights?

Where is the assurance that You’re in the midst of my spiritual hunger and thirst?

Where am I to turn to find rest for my weary body and mind?

For the sake of Jesus, why don’t You show up?

Ever been there?

Not unlike our E.R. friends, when we plead for help, we often have a predetermined outcome in mind and get pretty disturbed when God doesn’t pull through accordingly.

Yet, Father doesn’t abandon us during these trials.  After all, it was our Creator who granted Satan limited power in Job’s life (Job 1:12) and He had an ultimate goal in mind in using “the Accuser” to test Job.  He waits and watches while holding the reins:

  • Will she turn to Me or others?

  • Will she continue to honor Me in the midst of the storm?

  • Will her faith in Me waiver?

  • To the human mind, God’s approach often seems cold and calculating and we’re typically clueless as to what His goal is, yet in due course, Job understood it well:

    Then Job answered the Lord and said,

    “I know that You can do all things,

    and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”…

    “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,

    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”…

    “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;

    But now my eye sees You;

    Therefore I retract,

    And I repent in dust and ashes.”

    Job 42:1-6

    Like Job, when we come to the end of our trial actually seeing Him rather than simply knowing about Him, then we will realize that Hardee’s on Harrison is not such a bad place to be.



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