Monday, November 9, 2009

daisy day

Loves me, loves me not, loves me, loves me not.  That's been my on-call evening.

I plan an after hours lap of the NICU, hoping to see parents I rarely see, staff I haven't met during my day time rounds.  At 7:00 I wash my hands, check my list, noting the names of new arrivals.  Then I start around.  Crib 1, baby girl.  Lift the pink sheet at the end of the incubator, note the name, peek at the face, coo at her if she is awake.  Crib 2, baby boy.  Lift the blue sheet...a nurse I've never seen is suddenly beside me.  "Can I help you?" she asks in her best "get the hell out of here" voice.  "Hi, I'm the chaplain, just making the rounds with the babies."  "Did you wash your hands?"  "Yes. (breathe)  And I'm not touching the babies, I just need to see their names."  She is now positioned between me and the baby.  "You still bring germs too close to them."  I look her squarely in the eye.  "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."  And then I keep walking.  loves me not.

On the other side of the room, another unfamiliar nurse steps up to me.  "Can I help you?  You look lost."  Please.  I live in this room.  I'm here every day.  But I smile.  "No just hoping to meet some new parents in here."  She is not hospitable.  "There will be no parents until 8:00 pm.  Why don't you try the lobby?"  as in out there.  I should have stood some ground.  But I leave.  loves me not.

I get paged to ICU.  To a room where grandma has just passed away.  Tears are quietly flowing.  I introduce myself and ask "is there anything I can do for you?"  They smile.  Keep us in your prayers.  "Could I pray with you now?"  They nod.  I rest my hand on grandma's blanket covered arm and talk to Jesus about her long life, the look of peace on her face, and the strength and tenderness her family members now need.  And just like that I'm in.  They tell me stories about her.  And ask what to do next.  And thank me for coming.  I feel Sally Field sized relief wash over my earlier hardships.  loves me.

As I leave their room I pass a frantic commotion in another ICU room.  Code blue.  A nurse grabs my arm and points me to the break room.  No time for words.  I walk into panicked family members.  The wife pulls me down beside her and says "pray, pray, pray."  So we do - intensely. Carefully chosen words.  "...let us know You are here.  Give us your strength, made perfect in our weakness....."  We are interrupted by a doctor with good news.  He's ok!!  I'm being hugged.  Nervous, adrenalined joy wells up.  I'm being hugged again.  loves me.

The next page on my pager will be the tie breaker.  What will it be?

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!  All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.  Psalms 36:7  NLT


  1. First of all, we need to go have a word with those night NICU nurses. I'll do my barge in thing and Vicki (cause she's not a 9) can give them what for (in a nice chaplainy way).

    Second, you must explain the Sally Field comment. To me, she's a little person. So either I'm missing something or your relief was her size, meaning tiny.

  2. I'll break the tie-LOVES YOU!
    I am most concerned with the pink blanket on the bed #2 boy:-)! M2

  3. Nathan - this might help. Google You Tube Sally Field you like me speech.

    And thanks Mom, the boy's blanket was 100% blue.

  4. Thanks for a little insight to your Daisy Day/Night. What a roller coaster. Keep your eyes on the horizon :)

    miss you