Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
John 13:34-35 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
1 John 3:18 (NIV)
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Years ago when I went into the hospital to give birth to my first and only child, I was blessed with not only a great physician, but an absolutely wonderful nurse. She was the most precious lady, with a very gentle and loving spirit. It was very evident that she loved her job and that she loved people.
After my baby was born, I had what some would refer to as “spinal headaches”. The medical staff that attended to me prior to me having my C-section, did not inform me that I was supposed to lay flat for several hours after having an epidural, to avoid severe headaches. As a result I suffered for days with the worst headaches. I am telling you that these headaches were absolutely excruciating!
Because my headaches were so severe, I was not dismissed from the hospital for five to six days after my baby was born. I guess the doctor knew that I couldn’t possibly take care of my new little baby, when I was in so much discomfort.
The nurse who watched over me, was named Irene. She had been a nurse for many years, and her bedside manner was very calming.
Each day when she came in to work, she would come into my room and visit briefly with my mother and me. She was always pleasant and genuinely interested in how I felt that day. Looking back, I actually think that she felt sorry for me, due to my level of discomfort. I was so grateful for her compassionate heart. She always wanted to know what she could do to make me more comfortable.
Although other nurses were very kind to me, Nurse Irene was exceptional. She went above and beyond, when it came to taking care of her patients. When she was in your room, she made sure that you had everything you could possibly need or want.
For years after I was dismissed from the hospital, I would run into Nurse Irene from time to time, around town and she would always ask: “How’s my girl?” (Referring to my daughter) or “How’s that baby doing?” We would always embrace when we saw each other. Through that brief stay in the hospital I had gained the most precious of friends.
One Sunday I looked up and Nurse Irene was visiting the church where my husband and I attended. I could not wait until church service was over, to go say hello to my sweet friend. I found out that one of our church members was related to her, and from time to time she would come and attend services there. By this time she had retired from nursing, and I am sure that everyone that had worked with her at the hospital, truly missed her presence there.
Sometime later, I ran into her at a gas station one day, and we talked and talked. Her husband had recently passed and it was my turn to be an encouragement to her. So I stood there and patiently listened as she shared with me how much she missed her best friend. My heart broke for her as I could sense the pain she was feeling as she was still grieving. I gave her sweet hug before she got into her car, and told her that I would be praying for her. I didn’t know that, day, that it would be the last time that I would get to see her.
A few months ago I got the sad news that Nurse Irene had passed away. My heart was so sad that day, because such a bright light had gone out. Of all of the nurses that I have ever known, she was absolutely the best. We would talk about church, and our faith sometimes, and I knew that she loved the Lord. I knew it not only because she said it, but because she lived it. It was as though, God had placed an angel in that hospital. Her heart was as good as gold. She was compassionate, loving, patient, and kind. She had a spark that radiated in her eyes. She had love all over her, and her kindness confirmed that she was truly God’s child and that nursing was truly her ministry.
Nurse Irene was the gift that every new mom needed, when their baby was born. She understood the anxiety and fears, that new moms have, and because she was so calm, she tended to calm those around her. She would speak words that would encourage you as you embraced your new assignment as a mom. She would help you feel confident that everything was going to be OK.
I know that her family is going to truly miss her, and I am going to miss seeing her around town. But in our hearts, she will absolutely dwell forever. Rest well Nurse Irene. Earth’s loss is certainly heaven’s gain.
Today I would like to leave you with a few lessons that I learned from knowing Nurse Irene.
1. When God resides in you, others will see it and know that you are His child… There was no doubt who Nurse Irene belonged to.
2. To be kind to someone, is the sweetest and most wonderful gift that you can give them. People will never forget your acts of kindness towards them.
3. Work as unto the Lord. Nurse Irene worked as though her sole desire was to please God, by the way that she served others.
4. Everyone matters, no matter who they are. Nurse Irene made every patient feel special and as though they were her only patient.
5. Great friendships are priceless, and you never know when the friend you make today through work, will be a friend that God is blessing you with for life.
6. A precious soul is loved forever whether here on earth, or in heaven. Nurse Irene will certainly be someone that I will always carry in my heart as a dear friend.
My challenge to you today, is to be to others what Nurse Irene has been to me.
1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)
14 Do everything in love.