46: Hope for the Hurting

46: Hope for the Hurting

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses

Hope for the Hurting

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.

~John 14:12 NIV

It can be very frustrating caring for someone in uncontrollable pain. You feel helpless sometimes, especially when there is no cure. You treat the symptoms and wish to God you could give them more. So you listen, without rushing them, offering a hand to gently hold, looking into their eyes and letting them know they are not alone, that there is hope.

I tried to keep Dianne as comfortable as possible within my scope of practice. Pain meds, massage, heating pad, pillows. Why was this happening to her? So young. So sad. Her stage IV cancer had metastasized throughout her spine and she was in severe and almost constant pain.

Every three hours I went into her room and medicated her. I asked her what felt better as I tried to gently position her; sometimes just a tiny movement of a pillow brought a little relief.

When my shift was ending I went to Dianne’s room to say goodnight. I told her I would see her again in the morning. “I will keep you in my prayers,” I said. She nodded her head and looked out her window.

I drove home, took a quick shower, got dressed and drove to my friend Sue’s house for dinner.

After dinner we prayed together. I remembered Dianne and I sincerely prayed, “Lord, I pray that you will run your fingers along Dianne’s spine and heal her of cancer,” while visualizing that in my mind.

The next morning when I entered Dianne’s room she was beaming like a child on Christmas morning. “Did you go to church last night?”

“No, I didn’t go to church, but I did go to my friend’s house and we had a prayer meeting.”

Dianne beamed a big effervescent smile, her eyebrows lifted in excitement, her countenance filled with joy. “Did you remember to pray for me?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact we had special prayer for you.”

“I felt you praying for me! So I started praying too. It was around nine o’clock, right?”

I nodded.

“This sounds crazy, but I felt God touch me. Really! And all the pain left. I haven’t taken any pain medications since!”

Indeed, the doctor taking care of her was astounded; he had no explanation for what happened. He ordered more tests. Dianne’s cancer was completely gone.

I’ve learned that while caring for my patients, I include the Great Physician in partnership with me. He gives hope to the hopeless. As nurses we are but instruments in the hand of the One who heals, and we can expect miracles.

~Elizabeth Carroll

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