Wednesday, April 7, 2010

All Tied Up Right Now

He was dressed only in his green hospital gown, scruffy jeans and a random baseball cap. He stood at the foot of his ICU bed, leaning towards the hallway as if to get some air.

Puzzled, I approached him for a conversation. As we spoke, he tried to shake my hand as I introduced myself, but his pinky finger, wrapped in white steri-tape, was at the end of a long cord measuring his blood-oxygen-level. He then tried reaching out his other arm, but it was wrapped in the blood-pressure-cuff which was attached to the monitor. He also had several IV's connected to his veins, infusing some kind of medicine.

We chatted about why he was here in the hospital, his symptoms (at length) and his prognosis. He carried on sharing with me about his Catholic baptism. When I gave him the rosary, he stepped back to give him some slack on his connections so that he could kiss it. He said it was the first rosary he had since the Vietnam War. In his leaning, the bubble over his head said, "LET ME OUT OF HERE!" even though he was gentle, kind and fairly open for a hard-core, scarred Vet.

I reflect, how am I like this patient? I'm coming into the last ten weeks of this program. I feel as though I am both a patient and a survivor. I've got hospital-wear on my top half and street-wear on my lower half. I'm healing my inner wounds and standing up into my own. I still bumble my way around and yet venerate each sacred religious item I am given, whether a confession, a moment of donut communion, a last breath or a first step of faith. And, I'm still connected with long cords to my space - the chaplain's "lair," the RB conference room, the morning report board room, the round chapel where God's whisper resonates in echoes - and my wonderful, CPE-mateys. And the bubble over my head sometimes reads, "let me out of here!" (can I say that out loud?)

I wonder if God's got ties on me and what kind of numbers show up on my monitor?

Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms..." - John 8: 23-24 (The Message)

To what are you tied right now?

1 comment:

  1. this was the exact image in my mind when you were telling us!!!! I'm tied to my yaars and not sure what to do about that yet.....