My shoe covers rustle along the linoleum floor until I come to the holding area.
I find her, eyes closed on the gurney, brown wisps around green paper cap.
A tiny lady almost swallowed by crisp white and warm woven.
I pick up the chart at the foot of the bed and page through it.
I check for signed permit and review lab work.
I touch her hand.
She opens her eyes and blinks at bright.
“I’m Sandy. I’ll be your nurse this morning. We’re ready to take you back.”
She nods, and her chin quivers a little.
I ask her name and check what she says against her armband.
I ask who her doctor is and what we are doing today.
She tells me, and I confirm that with what’s written.
I note the steady drip, drip from bag through tube into arm.
I ask if she has any questions, and she shakes her head no.
So I unlock wheels, and maneuver through the door and down to OR-1.
The rooms a’flurry with activity.
Instruments clatter and clank as the scrub nurse lines them neat on rolled towels.
We stop in the hall for a moment, and she looks up.
Would you pray for me?
Her voice quavers.
She has a broken heart, after all.
And today we will hold it in our hands.
Stop, slice, sew, restart.
I come around to her side and bow my head.
I pray for a sense of His presence and for her peace.
I pray for the surgeon’s skill and for a flawless procedure.
I pray for an uneventful recovery.
Before I can say “amen,” the surgeon barges into the hall and shouts at us to hurry up.
We both jump.
He’s on a schedule, after all.
And he’s not a patient man.
He’s a wonderful surgeon, and he can fix this heart.
But I’ve seen him fling a bent forceps across the room in frustration.
I whisper “amen” and glance down at her.
Her eyes are wide.
I wink and smile.
“It’ll be okay,” I promise. “I’ll be with you the whole time.”
And then I wheel her into the room and next to the table.
She slides over, and I strap her down and hook her up.
Then I hold her hand and gently cup her cheek as she gives up control to the One who heals broken hearts and wounded souls.
From the archives
Stilled and wistful as I remember
and sometimes wish I still wore those scrubs,
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3 (NIV)