A Shout Out to the Nurses Who “Bind the Wounds” of the Sick

Ethiopian Nurses who assist Dr. Ingida Asfaw and the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Association
Ethiopian Nurses who assist Dr. Ingida Asfaw and the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Association

Sunday afternoon I witnessed an impressive act of kindness, sensitivity and tenderness. After church services concluded I drove to a local nursing facility to visit and pray with one of our members who recently was placed in hospice care. I had seen this woman prior to the recent trip I led to Greece and Rome and she seemed ok. However, while on the bus between the various places that the Apostle Paul preached I received a text from her husband informing me she was now in hospice. Once a person is placed in hospice I do not like to waste time seeing them because you never know how much longer they have to live. So, I went immediately after church. Denise was out of town and I was on my own, so I went to the nursing facility.

The person I went to see was in a pretty tough shape and a lot of pain. I said hello and just sat there in the room, trying to think of what to say: something meaningful without being trite; spiritually and not silly; real and relevant without being in denial of the gravity of the moment. All of that was weighing upon me when a nurse walked into the room.

She approached the sick woman and let her know that she was there to administer her medications. One by one she placed the medications in the sick woman’s mouth. In a most tender fashion, the nurse gently wiped the lips of the patient, asked her how she was doing and then told her she would return shortly to put some ointment on her lips to take away the dryness.

As she left the room another nurse walked in to check on the patient. The patient told her she needed to use the restroom. I got up and began to excuse myself from the room. The second nurse noticed that I had placed a copy of my book, “The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out” on the table –stand by the bed. She looked at the photo on the cover and said, “That’s you!” I replied and smiled, “Yes, that would be me.” As she pulled on her latex gloves I asked her if she would like a copy of the book and she said yes, so I told her I had another copy of the book in the car and would get it for her while she helped the patient. As I went to the car I began to think about what I was observing – a dying woman who was being treated with gentle, tender care by two nurses who were doing their best to take away the pain.

Nurses at the Maternal Child Hospital in Awassa, Ethiopia greeting Dr. Ingida Asfaw, founder of the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Assoication
Nurses at the Maternal Child Hospital in Awassa, Ethiopia greeting Dr. Ingida Asfaw, founder of the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Assoication

When I returned with the book I spoke with both nurses and thanked them for what they were doing for my church member. I told them that I was sure that what I had just seen they replicate all day long for their eight hour shift. They smiled and nodded their heads. I only had one other copy of the book in the car so I gave it to the second nurse who had asked me about it.

I told the other nurse I would bring her a copy of the book when I returned to the facility on Tuesday. While praying with my member her husband walked into the room.   He too, like the two nurses sat by the bed, held the hand of his wife, spoke gently with her and told her he would make sure that her pain would be managed.

When I returned with the book for the first nurse, I brought both nurses a personal letter thanking them for their service to my member and a small cash gift. What I gave them is so small in relation to the work they do, but I did not know what else to do.

So, I dedicate this post to all of the nurses in the world. I dedicate this to those who bind the wounds of the sick and assist in the process of healing. I think about the Parable of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told as an example of what God expects us to do for our neighbor.

Psalm 147: 3          He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. [1]

Psalm 30: 2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. [2]

Luke 10: 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.[3]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does the Parable of the Good Samaritan teach you about the role of the nurse and those who heal?
  2. What other observations have you learned from this Parable about the healing process?

 

Prayer:

Lord, I pray for those who care for the sick. Bless those who bind the wounds. Bless those who clean the bodies and the sheets of the infirmed. Bless those who administer the medicines. Bless those who bring a word of cheer, hope and encouragement to those who are ill. Grant all who heal a star in the crown of righteousness and the blessing of peace and prosperity in this life.   Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photos by Nicholas Hood III – for more information about the Ethiopian North American Health Professions Association go to http://www.enapha.org

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Hood can be found at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

“The Test, The Strength, The Endurance and the Way Out” – a new book of prayers and photos written and taken by Nicholas Hood III can be purchased on line at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

Book cover
Book cover

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ps 147:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ps 30:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Lk 10:33–34). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.