A Witness


I have been given the opportunity of coaching in several East Coast emergency departments. It is a privilege to serve God in such a humbling way. I have had so many lessons presented to me. There have been so many moments that I feel compelled to share some insights.
I’ll call her Polly….. though she could be Pauline or Pearl….

Passing an emergency room cubicle, I heard all of this mindless chatter. I had to encounter this endless stream of words. Lying on a hospital stretcher, a “70 year old white female Caucasian” with wiry salt and pepper hair quickly grabbed my hand and cried “I miss my mama”. Here was this small woman with nicotine stained fingertips wailing with another person over the loss of someone who loved her. With government Medicaid papers folded on her lap, I asked “Polly, are you cold?” “Cold, yes , so cold.” And her chatter continued.

I found the ‘stainless steel double door D4 hospital grade electric warmer’ ……and covered her chin to toes with a warm blanket held inside. It was then that she looked intently at me. I could see her soul – the very life connecting with me from behind her eyes. “Sing you song!” she exclaimed as she grabbed my hand once again! And, what I heard I cannot express or describe. Polly belted out a completely coherent three stanza hymn of “God reached down his hand for me”

Once my soul was astray from the heavenly way
I was wretched and vile as could be
But my Saviour in love gave me peace from above
When he reached down his hand for me

When he reached down his hand for me
When he reached way down for me
I was lost and undone without my God or his son
When he reached down his hand for me

I was near to despair when he came to me there
And he showed me that I could be free
Then he lifted my feet gave me gladness complete
When he reached down his hand for me

When he reached down his hand for me…

I was a witness. I knew I was in a well placed moment. God had not forgotten Polly and He had not forgotten me. Polly came that night for a purpose greater than herself. I was reminded of the great purpose in connections. And once again, how no meeting is by coincidence.

The emergency department will admit 1000 more Polly’s. Or is the bigger picture that He will send 1000 more of these souls to you? When she cries for her mama, you can realize how much you miss your own. Nicotine stained fingertips will remind you of the harsh realities we live in every single day.

 Government papers folded in her lap will reinforce the lonely mechanical world that God never intended for His children to endure.

And, when one day you hear the angels sing, you’ll recognize that solo belting out in front. It’ll be Polly….or Pauline or Pearl…
Don’t miss it. She’ll show up. She’ll be in your emergency department, 5th floor, doctor’s office or clinic. Just follow the endless chatter and open your heart to God’s boundless love.

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