Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life from the ICU

Imagine if you will that you are sitting in an intensive care unit where critically ill or damaged people are coming in all day long. You may be there as one of them or accompanying someone who has been brought there. You see the anguish of the people who are waiting for some word, any word, about those they love as to their condition. You yourself are waiting word about the condition of your own companion.

You sense the dread that these people must be feeling and you empathize with them because you are there for the same reason. Perhaps you wish you could just go over and offer some comforting words to help them. Maybe you need someone to come over and put an arm around you or maybe pray with you.

To put all of this into another perspective, when you are in that intensive care unit, the rest of the world mists away and you are only focused on the doctor's next report. Nothing else matters and all of your emotions are homed in on the condition of those who are unfortunate enough to be in this room--with you--on this day/night.

If we view the world, our world, as an intensive care unit full of people who have an urgent need of someone, anyone, to care for them, what would our worldview be then? Would be more sensitive to what role we can play in their recovery, or do we only concern ourselves with our own immediate needs.

In this unit, there is no escape. The sounds, the smells, the clock that never seems to move, is our only perspective. Only when someone is cared for will they then be able to go home. Or, maybe Death has come and claimed someone and your senses are caught in the whirlwind of grief from those waiting in vain for good news.

Or, can you imagine that they have NO ONE there?! Or, YOU have NO ONE there?

Interestingly, I teach my First Aid students that the stroke victim who has collapsed on the floor with their eyes closed is able to hear everything going on around them but they are powerless to cry out. You can only hope and pray for someone who is nurturing enough to come forward and help.

We live in dramatic and perilous times. Many lives have had their own intensive care unit moments...maybe every day. No, not critical where life and death hang in the balance but in critical condition spiritually and they are in a room where there are only two ways out.

With a perspective that you and only you are available to assist, what can you do? What will you do? Will you do nothing or will you do whatever you can?

I would hope that if I were in your intensive care unit that you would care enough to see that I had a fighting chance to live the rest of my life just because you were there for me. Not because it was from any sense of duty but because you loved me.

To quote from a book I am reading, "Could we learn to love like that if we realized that every day of life is a day in the waiting room?"

Be a blessing, and be blessed...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! There is so much hurt in the world, but a lot of times we ignore it. Thanks for the reminder not to ignore the pain of the other patients.

August 19, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Great post. Working in the healthcare field myself, I always talk to my patients that are unresponsive as though they can hear everything I am saying.
Your post really makes you stop and look at your life and the world around you. I see patients in the ICU everyday. Thank God I am not there.

August 19, 2011 at 9:58 AM  

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