I had a good day in the ER today, Friday the 13th or not. This day has always been a good day for me, despite the fear and loathing attached to it. We were slow today, and that gave me more time to spend with the patients, which brings me to the reason for this blog. I am seeing so much legalism, judgement and outright hatred coming from people who profess to be “Christians.” As a matter of fact, it has become so harsh in social media land that I have had to unfriend a handful of people, and these are the very souls that profess to be lovers of all things Christ.
I am a sinner. I have come a very long way, but I remain a sinner. I have asked God to guard me against every snare, but I am a victim of my own mind, and when I catch myself judging others, well, I feel shame and 9 out of 10 times? I have been guilty of the same behavior that irritates me in others. Today we admitted a woman who had driven straight into a pole, and she was accompanied by the police and EMTs. She was my age, actually, one year younger. Her words were slurred and she gave the police officer a hard time about having her blood drawn. The cop repeated the charges, the protocol, and the penalties attached-at least three times. I stood there, waiting for her to lose it, as she was none to happy with, well, anyone in the ER. The nurses whispered, we all came to the same conclusion: Something is off, she is guilty as sin, how could she have driven with so much medication in her system? Ambien and Seroquel (relatively strong sedatives) were taken “by mistake.” She had taken her evening pills in the morning, rather than her vitamins. Likely story…….
And later, long after the police and EMTs had gone, I stepped into her room. She had sobered up and I sat at the side of her bed. Knowing I had words to comfort, I told her the story of an accident many years ago-I had gone out after Thanksgiving dinner, to meet my incredibly irresponsible friend, Bonnie. I had exactly three dollars in my purse, and we were to meet at 8 p.m. at Houlihan’s. I was driving my mother’s brand new car, and some time around 11 p.m., I passed the Upper Merion Township building, at 100 mph. A police chase ensued, and I hit a tree in the center of a field. I was dazed, but emerged from the car injury free. It wasn’t until I tripped and hit my head on the torn metal that I cracked my forehead open. I was walking the street a bloody mess, until the police found me and took me to the Emergency Room.
My parents were called, and when they arrived they were FURIOUS. It wasn’t until my bloodwork came back free of alcohol that they calmed down. Drugs of the mickey variety were found. I thought back to the evening, and all I remembered was sitting with a man I had worked with years ago. I remembered walking outside, I needed some air. He was with me at that point. To this day I have no recollection of the hours between nine and eleven. And let’s just say I know I was drugged, and this time it wasn’t my fault.
The woman began to tear up, then all of the emotion and severity of the situation-the fact that her husband was due any moment, she had to call her insurance company, she was mortified-it all welled up and came out in bits and pieces of hysteria. Tears dripped down her cheeks; I gave her the number of an attorney.
My point is this: we are to love one another, (often not easy, often not the case) without judging. If you are a follower of Christ you should be filled with joy, compassion and a peace that surpasses all understanding. We are living in the NEW TESTAMENT. You will know the real Christians by their unabashed love for others, their words, their actions. I don’t believe that Jesus cares if I cover my head during worship, or if I listen to Hillsong Bethel Music (some say a cult) to worship-he cares about what is in my heart, my devotion to him as my Lord and Savior-and how I treat others, specifically every person I come into contact with. I am not preaching to the choir, I am singing a song of love, compassion and hope.