“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8)
This morning I had a wonderful fellowship with our daughter, Alina. She is a nurse practitioner, working in Texas. She came to visit me for Christmas. This visit makes me so happy, more than words can say. We were talking about difficult situations in life. She told me that as a nurse, she had learned so many good things, more than the medical side of the profession. The most challenging side of her job is to take care of difficult, bad mannered, or proud patients. They are sick and obviously they need help. But they prove to be difficult by making impossible demands on the nurses, and even sexual advances. The most difficult of all are the older wealthy men. Some of them are on admission in the VIPs rooms and behave like little ‘kings.’ They look down on the nurses who attend to them. They are rude, overdemanding, disrespectful, hot tempered and ungrateful. Alina was telling me that when there is a crisis, when she is provoked to respond in anger, she has learned ‘to keep calm so that I can think’ (her words). She was telling me that if her emotions overrule her best judgement, she will respond in anger. That will not be an advantage to her. She will ‘lose the battle’. She may lose her job and her reputation. So, she has learned that in all situations, the best attitude is to pray quietly, stay calm, speak with wisdom, and remain professional. She reminds herself that she is not alone. She represents the hospital management. Her behavior, for better or for worse, will reflect on her employer. And most of all, her behavior reflects on her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
She was telling me of a particular story: a man of 86 was admitted in the hospital where she was working. He was a weak and sick man. He was using a walker. He was told to ring the bell anytime he goes to the toilet so that a nurse can assist him. But he refused to be helped. Because of that, he fell often and that created more problems for all. One morning Alina came to his room and saw that the man was struggling alone to go to the toilet. He refused to be helped by her. Alina just stood by. She left the door of the toilet opened, to observe him, and to help him if necessary (this is the standard procedure). The man got very angry and used foul language to insult Alina. She just kept calm. He finished and tried to walk back. But he could not lift his legs to climb the bed. Then he said to her: ‘Can’t you help me?’ In a quiet voice Alina said: ‘Sir, you refused my help. You insulted me. Why will I help you now?’ Immediately she said that the man started weeping. Tears were rolling on his face. He started repenting and apologizing. Crying he said: “Jesus, I offended this young nurse. Please have mercy on me. Please touch her heart and bless her…” Alina said that she was surprised at his sudden reaction. Later she discovered that he was given just three months to live. Alina was so happy that in the face of provocation she kept calm and patient with a man who needed just a touch of love. This is a good lesson: be like God: slow to anger and abounding in mercy. You can never go wrong like this. Who knows how much you can bless somebody?