“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.”
(Matthew 2: 1 ESV)
I shouldn’t be here, we both know that but they assured me I would like you, and they were right! It is not a perquisite for a home health nurse to “like” her patient, but it does make an uncomfortable situation a lot easier, doesn’t it? You are my oldest patient to date…me… an old and burned-out pediatric nurse and you… a 33 year old male with a diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy…trapped inside your shell of a body that doesn’t function anymore…doesn’t even breathe for you anymore…. and you readily admit you have long ago reached your life expectancy. I love and admire your desire to live…as you told me just late last week… “my goal is to reach the age of 50”…I nervously chuckled and quickly returned a saddened smile as our eyes met again… as you admitted that to me but really… deep inside… my heart was weeping and breaking for you because at the age of 51…that seems so very short to me….and honestly…. “Life normalcy” for you stopped so very long ago, yet your zest for life is so palpable…so real….and so purely genuine. I’ve already made “mistakes” as my nervousness caring for you is so blatantly apparent to the both of us….you are not the special needs child I am so used to caring for all these years….you are a grown man…and your “once childhood years” of frequent and painful falls on the school playground as your gait slowly worsened (as you told me) are long past you now and has become a faded, hurtful memory…
I lied to you last Friday when I told you, “I need to use the bathroom real quick.” Truth is…I barely escaped to the bathroom to fight back tears which were welling and about to overflow from my eyes as I was in complete agony… once again… for accidentally spilling urine on your legs…and realizing I was failing as a nurse to provide for your very basic nursing needs…yet there you were sitting in your wheelchair as you watched me struggling… and you were cheering me on…supporting and comforting me with your kind words….. “You can do this” … “its OK”…. “Don’t worry about it”….and “forgiving me” before I even had the chance to ask for your forgiveness …..your heart so beautiful and full….your love and concern for others so very rare…so very unique….and as I stood in your bathroom behind the door and just outside of your view…..I wondered as I wiped the tears from my eyes… how a heart like yours…. (So rare even among His own people)…..How can you possibly not personally know my Savior! (?)
Its Christmas time and we have scheduled more time to share, although I do not imagine or see myself being here with you very long. I will eventually move on…and allow another “adult nurse” to care for you like you so deserve. You mentioned your love for science and astronomy…. At least when you were able to attend school many years ago…that is if you were not trapped inside the hospital for one of your many and multiple past surgeries or of the many complications you suffered as you grew weaker and were forced to succumb to your devastating disease….what a perfect time to talk with you about the “Star of Bethlehem”…..
“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw HIS star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
(Matthew 2: 2 ESV) …..
This Christmas….. I want so very badly for you to see His Star!!!