She said, “I am just numb. I don’t feel anything.” We had just watched another patient go from life to death. I tried to assure her that it is a protective mechanism and that this is a season that will eventually pass. Like winter. Trees shed their leaves and are barren, with no signs of life, but life is still there, deep inside. It will burst forth again.
My heart hurts for my co-workers. I see a variety of responses from those around me – heartbreak, numbness, anger, and perplexity are just some of them. You don’t realize how hard this is and how concerning it is to wonder if your heart may be hardening simply to keep going and doing what you need to do. I work in an intensive care unit, where I’ve probably seen more death in the last 2 years than in the previous 20. However, there is hope in Jesus. He conquered death.
“Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.” (John 11:25-27 CSB)
We must not lose our humanity in all of this. I hear a lot of talk about self-care, but what I think is needed more is to care for each other. Let others talk without judging them. Be open about how you are really feeling. Hug each other! Cry, scream, laugh, whatever. Don’t bottle it up. Listen to understand, not to reply. Every single person is a treasure, made in the image of God, as He tells us in the Bible. That means you, too. Let’s treat each other as such. Spring will come.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’” (Genesis 1:26 CSB)
“Listen to understand, not to reply.” – unknown