To Be Held Close

A few weeks ago, I was walking out of my office to go home when the operating room charge nurse ran down the hall asking for help as an emergency case was being wheeled down to our floor. It just so happened to be an emergency case for my service, and it just so happened to be a patient I had taken care of just a couple days prior.

I dropped my stuff and ran.

As my sweet little patient was wheeled back into the OR by more people than I could count, my body jumped into action even as my brain reeled at the site before me.

Blood. Lots of it.
Fear. More of that.

I held my little patient’s hand as she frantically turned her head from side to side, staring from masked face to masked face in absolute terror. I tried to speak calmly to her, hoping she would remember me from a few days before. No luck.

She was scared and hurting. Each time she opened her mouth, there was more blood. She was exhausted from it all. And then, in the midst of the blood, fear, and tears, in the midst of the chaos, in the midst of the numerous bodies reaching, tugging, holding, caring, I witnessed one of the most precious moments of my entire career.

In her exhaustion, in her fear, in her utter despair and helplessness, my sweet little patient sunk into my coworker’s arms, rested her little head on his chest, wrapped her little arm around his waist, and closed her eyes. My coworker placed a gentle hand on her head, and held her close.

It was a beautiful image of genuine care, security, safety, warmth, reassurance, comfort. My little patient, frightened as she was, eventually gave up her struggle against us and her clinical situation and leaned fully, unabashedly into the rest that was available to her.

For those few seconds, everything seemed to move in slow motion. The blur of movement and sounds around us couldn’t distract my focus from the picture before me.

My eyes were locked.
My heart was full.
Tears brimmed.

Is this not how our Heavenly Father cares for us? 
As our lives literally crash down around us,
as our hearts are broken, severed, bleeding,
as fear consumes us, inside-out,
as our circumstances no longer make sense,
as life seems overwhelming, impossible,
our Heavenly Father wraps His arms around us, places a gentle hand on our heads, and holds us close. 

And finally, we can breathe.
Finally, we can close our eyes.
Finally, we can rest.

The room might continue to spin out of control, people and things may pull and tug at us, fear might threaten to bind us, but in all of this, our Father’s chest is strong enough for us to rest our weary heads on. His arms are big enough to hold us. His hands are gentle enough to comfort us. He is our protection, our security, our safety, and He is always right there with us.

I can’t even begin to describe the scene in that OR from a medical perspective… After we stabilized my little patient, the fellow (surgeon) running the case told me this was the most terrifying experience of his career thus far. And in the midst of this situation, God chose to reveal Himself just a little bit more to me.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfect picture of what God’s love for us looks like. In the midst of the messy, bleeding, ugly, brokenness of this world—of our liveswe have a God who is both able and available.

I’m so thankful the Lord used this moment to remind me of this truth. I’m thankful He reminded me of His nearness and eagerness to care for us, protect us, comfort us—even during the worst scenes of this life.

My prayer for each of us is that we would recognize this quicker and quicker, with each new day, and that we would always choose to let go of our struggles, surrender to the Lord, fall into His arms, lay our weary heads on His chest, wrap our frail arms around Him, and REST in His character, His promises, His faithfulness, His love.

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. | Psalm 62:5-8

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