Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Kingdom Without Intimacy?

My first position as an emergency room nurse was in a new facility just outside the city limits. Because we were nestled in cornfields on three sides, field mice would often find their way through the emergency entrance in the winter. Rarely making an appearance when things were hoppin’, given a quiet night when all the emergency staff were restlessly anticipating the next disaster, the sneaky varmints would almost always show up as if to say, “Tada! Na-na na-na na na!”

 In a desperate need to keep our minds occupied, one very quiet night we decided to sit at the nurses’ station with toilet plungers in hand, waiting for an unsuspecting mouse to wander in. The plan was that at the first sight of our prey, we would charge with our “weapons” in an attempt to capture the nasty villain!

  • Tick-tock! Tick-tock! ... “That clock seems very loud, yet the minutes are dragging by!”
  • Fidgeting… “It’s too difficult to sit so still for this long!”
  • Ready to give-up… “This is crazy!”
  • “Wait! There he is! Get him!!!!”
  • Out of our shoots we lunged, armed and ready for action!
  • Scurrying to be the victor, studious and composed health-care professionals were chasing the frightened creature every which way!
  • Closer! Closer! Closer!
  • SHWMP!
  • YES! I nailed the sorry little sucker!

Although we were quite satisfied that we caught the stinkin’ invader, we remained unsettled with no “real work” to do. So… we laid our distressed “patient” on the trauma cart, placed an electrode in the middle of his tiny chest, hooked him up to the heart monitor and alerted the night supervisor, “We have a Code blue going in E.R. and need some help!” We waited quietly behind the closed trauma room doors. Pitter-patter, pitter-patter… we could hear her hustling into the emergency department. “Thunk!” She’d smacked the automatic opener causing the trauma room doors to swing wide. There we stood, her “professional” E.R. night crew, hovered over the gurney of our trauma victim whose heart monitor was straight-lining, “beeeeeeep!” Interrupting her intense focus on our deceased patient, I announced, “Sorry we troubled you. We lost him!”

 Thank God the one who was in charge knew our hearts! She knew that the stress we worked under daily played its toll and that our harmless fun was a way of trying to deal with the impact of our role. She knew that when necessary, we meant business and that there were few E.R. teams that could collaborate like ours. She wasn’t perfect and neither were we, yet we could talk openly about our weaknesses and knew that we’d be there to support and encourage one another regardless. I’ll never forget the healthy working relationship we had.

Surely relationships in Jesus should be such an example of vitality! Yet, often they aren’t. Instead, when we take the risk to develop relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, we often end up feeling like that mouse must have felt:

  •  I should’ve never walked through that door.
  • Someone is always sitting around the corner waiting for me to make the wrong turn.
  • No matter which choice I make, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
  • No matter how hard I try, I just can’t escape the traumatic sucking force from one person or another.
  • Being out there in that vast field all alone wasn’t such a bad place to be after all.

 When I observe interactions among Christinas,

I most often see a tremendous fear of intimacy.

Oh, we can comfortably talk about the weather,

farming, our grandkids, sports, and this week’s sermon,

but God forbid if we should take our relationships much deeper than that!

Why is this? What are we so afraid of? Why can’t we:
  • allow others to truly be themselves
  • understand that others respond to life differently than we and be ok with that
  • communicate honestly and lovingly about sensitive issues
  • resolve issues rather than “taking the easy route out”
  • be honest about one another’s weaknesses and know that we will uphold one another regardless
  • share varying opinions without getting angry
  • confront and challenge one another in love without getting defensive

 We’re all in the same stressful world that takes its toll and often respond in ways that may seem foreign to others. We are all a bit afraid of the unknown and are trying to get through the trials we face in the best way that we know how. And… we all long for others to come along side of us and love us for who we truly are, sick sense of humor and all. Yet, I’m baffled by how very few of us truly know one another’s hearts. Why do we find intimacy, something very natural and necessary for the Kingdom of God, so difficult? Weren’t we created for intimacy? Can there be a Kingdom without it?



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: You may also contact me at:

Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845

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