Do you ever feel that you are the only person who thinks the way you do?
I often find myself silently pondering this very idea. Not too long ago when I was dwelling on this idea the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that I don’t think like those in the world…my mind is being renewed with the thoughts of Christ.
Hmmm, a familiar verse indeed and one that spoke truth to me at the time. Often when I find myself in the place that reveals my thoughts to be different from those in the world I do not speak up–I consider this the power of discernment–knowing when to speak and when not to is a valuable lesson, one that I was not always mindful of. The circumstances were different in a recent meeting however and I felt the prompting of the Lord to share a perspective that the group needed to hear.
The group consisted of a number of my colleagues, nurses, social workers and other closely related providers of the team. The topic being discussed was the boundaries of the professionals as it pertains to interacting with patients. The “issue” being explored was the decision of one of the group to go to a patient home to inform him of an upcoming chemotherapy appointment that he was not aware of. The patient was known to have many barriers to care, including only having a pay as you go cell phone. I should mention here that one of the primary functions of my role as a nurse navigator is to identify and overcome barriers to care. Well my colleague decided that she would make an “unauthorized” home visit and tell this person of his upcoming appointment. Her decision was not embraced by the administration.(Point #1 of thinking differently than the rest of the world)
The discussion that ensued eventually came around to caregivers, i.e. “the group” attending personal events of a patient, like celebrations and funerals. There was quite a bit of dialogue around the table. Many of the group felt that attending these events blurred the lines of professionalism, who were they attending the event as, the nurse/social worker or as a friend? Still others believed that this simply oversteps an unstated boundary.(Point #2 of thinking differently than the rest of the world)
As I usually do I sat quietly absorbing this conversation and asked, do I speak up or keep silent? The answer I received was to speak up. And so I did.
I entered this profession to provide health care to human beings. This meant showing compassion and mercy towards those that need it. It however doesn’t stop there, at the door. I went on to share with the group that when I have been invited to attend a celebration of some sort by a person I have had the privilege of caring for, I received the invitation with honor. As caregivers we help people in what is often their darkest hour overcome fear and pain creating a unique and treasured bond. Why should I not attend a special event that represents so much to the person? And if the person has extended an invitation to me how would they feel if I didn’t attend? And on those all to often occasions when a person I have provided loving care for leaves this life and enters into eternity should I spare myself the burden of attending the funeral service and forsake the opportunity for closure for me and the family?
Thankfully I have discovered that when I separate myself from these experiences, I cannot possibly be all that I am created to be in that moment–living life authentically and fulfilled.
I have long since come to appreciate that if the Lord has you share something it is to be done if faith–act as the mailman and expect nothing in return. In practice this can be difficult though as affirmation is often a much needed component to our life of obedience. On this occasion the Lord sent a special someone to tell me how much my sharing was appreciated. Oh the JOY!