Article Content

Nurses agree that working holidays can disrupt personal and family time, yet understand the necessity of the nursing role and acknowledge that working one's share of holidays is expected. Many of those holidays I've sensed God placed me right where he wanted me to be.


Scheduled to work the 11 to 7 shift in the emergency room over Easter weekend, I wanted to do something special for the staff. For each shift, I prepared a large colorful Easter basket filled with a pleasant array of treats. Upon arrival at work, I carefully placed three Easter baskets securely in the nurses' lounge and then reported for duty. The atmosphere in the emergency room that evening was typically busy. However, most of the patients were ready for discharge.


I was assigned to a mother and her 3 children who had been ill for several days. The mom looked weary and worn and the children not much better. The emergency room physician prescribed treatment with a plan for discharge to home. The family needed transportation, so the unit secretary arranged for a cab to take them home. The mom was given discharge instructions and escorted to the holding area with her children to await their ride.


When the cab finally arrived, I assisted the tired family into the vehicle. Suddenly, I noticed a solemn change in the mother's affect, and she began to cry. I inquired, "Is something wrong?"


The mother began to sob. Stuttering, she announced, "Tomorrow is Easter, and I don't have a thing for my kids!!"


Touched by this mother's pain, I visualized the three Easter baskets I had previously prepared. I motioned for the driver to wait a moment while I ran to the lounge. Knowing my colleagues would not object, I briskly collected the three radiant Easter baskets and scurried back to the idling cab. Reaching in, I eagerly handed the mother the vibrantly colored baskets-exactly one for each of her three children.


The illuminating expression on the mother's face resonated in me an awareness of God's divine presence and a deep sense of satisfaction. The mom declared, "There is a God!!" to which I readily agreed and responded, "God cares and watches over us in every detail of life." The children were ecstatic and smiled for the first time all night, evidence that the Great Physician was in the process of healing his precious little ones. With joyful tears, the mother's "thank you" expressed her heartfelt gratitude. As the cab drove away, I smiled and whispered a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the true meaning of Easter, his gift of salvation and ever-present, tender-loving care in our lives.


My experience that night reinforced my faith in the presence of God and showed me how vital it is to look for God in both my everyday life and my vocation as a nurse. Now I watch to see where God is at work. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "When you search for me, you will find me; if you search for me with all your heart." For whatever challenges I must face, I seek God's presence, not for actual audible or visual signs, but for God's consistent spiritual presence waiting to be found.


Working the holiday turned out to be a blessing for me. Are you looking for God in your nursing situation? Can you find him at the bedside of your critically ill patient? Do you seek him in the lonely room of an elderly person or at the bedside of a sick child? If seeking him with all your heart hasn't been a routine part of your practice, invite God into your life and your daily practice. You will soon learn, as I did, how much more we can accomplish with him.


It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will fill your workdays, holidays, and every day with his presence and his unforgettable baskets of blessings!!