Wednesday, March 23, 2016

We ALL Have This in Common...

*The following post contains writings that some may find disturbing, upsetting, or offensive. Discretion is advised.*

  "You don't even know if you will be alive tomorrow! For all you are is a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears." James 4:14 (Complete Jewish Bible)
            You are going to die. Your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, geographical location, nor socioeconomic status will stop it. Moreover, great health can't stop it either. Unless you're taken up in the rapture, one day you will die. Whisper this to yourself, "One day I will die." Did you say it? Now open your mouth, and say this... "How do I want to live? How should I spend my precious time? Who should I spend it with?"
            Working in healthcare has truly changed how I utilize preventative medicine to care for my body, my perception of life, and where I place my trust. There have been so many occasions that I've witness two or more physicians huddled in a consultation room discussing what may or may not be the best way to proceed with a patient's care. I've sat at the nurses' station closely observing telemetry monitors as someone's life hung in the balance. Many had DNR orders (Do Not Resuscitate), so all the medical staff could do was wait. In the meantime, I would gather the Death Certificate paperwork, and find my morgue/funeral home contacts. Sometimes their BP/HR (blood pressure/heart rate) would plummet, then rise, plummet, then rise again. I began to notice something. No one would ever transition into eternity when we expected; it only happened in divine timing.
            I will never forget a particular evening shift that redefined how I viewed life. I was given clearance to observe the removal of a deceased patient's eye. Jane Doe passed away approximately one hour before an organ center representative made it to the unit. The technician used an apparatus to hold the eyelids open, and began to extract the eye. Jane Doe's flesh was now pale and grayish. The technician moved deeper into the eye socket. It needed to be detached at the optic nerve and surrounding tissue. A final snip was made, and the eye was placed on a metal surgical tray. It wasn't over. The technician picked up another tool and reached again into the now hollow eye socket. The surgical instrument hitting against the skull sounded like a spoon scraping an empty can. I will never forget that sound. Ever.
            That night I cried myself to sleep. I cried myself to sleep not because of the extraction. I'd seen similar things before. This experience was nothing like the human cadavers I'd touched, smelled, and sat next to with my anatomy and physiology book nearby. This was different. I was in Jane Doe's presence while she lived. I saw children, probably her own, sit at her bedside. I received a new revelation of the soul being absent from the body, and I wanted to live. I wanted to truly live and be present in every moment.  

            How do you want to live? How should you spend your precious time? Who should you spend it with? I'm challenging you.

"Life is too short to be miserable, out of purpose, void of peace, and out of fellowship with God. Do whatever it takes to live. Live abundantly and unapologetically! Christ died for you to do so"  ~ Dee Brown