I am not by nature an overtly positive person. I think of myself as a realist. And by realist, I really think life sucks a great deal of the time. But last night I saw something good. I saw someone who actually loved another person and they did not need to, nor were they doing it for possible gain.
Last night I was on call and around 8:30pm I got paged to call the ICU at St. James hospital, (I have changed the name). And on the other end of the line was a weathered voice of a male nurse asking if I could come in a pray with a patient and his visitors. I put on my official priest uniform and drove to the ICU. As I drove I prayed that God would give me strength and wisdom to do and say the appropriate things. When I arrived the crusty nurse told me that the patient was declared brain dead at noon that day and they were keeping him on life support until the family could come and say good bye. And that there in fact was no family coming in, just a co-worker who was in the room waiting to pray. He also said that once I prayed they were going to remove him from life support.
The world-worn hispanic patient lay on the bed unresponsive, as a former co-work stood next to him quietly weeping. As I entered I saw Diego connected to every monitor possible with evidence that he had not bathed in a long while.
I introduced myself and told the visitor how sorry I was that she was loosing a friend. She then told me his story. Diego was homeless on and off most of his adult life and that all his family lived in Mexico. She said he was a kind man who worked hard and always smiled. As she cried she continued to tell me what a wonderful man he was and that he should not be alone ” like this”.
I asked her if we could pray? I began the office of the commendation of the soul, and reminding the Lord that where two or three are gathered in His name he would be there with us. I anointed his head, asked the Lord Christ comfort Diego and that the Father would be merciful to him a sinner. Diego’s friend wept. I asked the Holy Spirit to comfort friend and family as the loose Diego. We close with the Lord’s Prayer and The Grace.
Adam’s transgression has significantly distorted the image of God in us, but it has not destroyed it. This woman did not have to stand in a hospital room and weep for an hispanic homeless man. But she did, because she reflects the grace, mercy and peace of God. And if Jesus himself where there with us in the flesh, I believe he too would weep over the events that led this man to the ICU. Jesus was in fact there in her hands and tears as she wept, Jesus wept.
I have seen goodness on this earth!