Dear Lady in the E.R.,
I owe you an apology. I passed you over. When I walked into the emergency room last night, I was consumed with myself. Why did I have to come? Is this going to be a waste of time? Why couldn’t I catch my breath? I saw you sitting in that chair closest to the check-in station with your head down. At first, I thought perhaps you were in line to check-in and wondered if you would think I was taking your place. I glanced back at you several times trying to evaluate whether or not you were there to be seen or were there with someone.
You may remember when I caught your eye. I saw your tears, and judging from the streaks down your face, they weren’t your first. I know you were trying to hide yourself from the rest of the waiting room – your hat was pulled low and your arms were drawn in tight. But I saw you. I knew you were in pain. And sweet stranger, my God, the Heavenly Father who gave me life spoke to me about you. Pray with her. I heard it ever so faintly and wondered if I imagined it.
If the words weren’t enough, the heaviness I felt in my chest was – that same chest I was having trouble filling with enough air. When the check-in station became available, I paused just in case you were in line, but by this time I was sure you were there waiting for a loved one. I stepped to the window thinking I would pray with you after I was officially in the system. But before I could sign all the paperwork, my parents arrived.
That’s really no excuse, but I felt bad for dragging them out on a dark foggy night to sit in the E.R. with me. But I needed them to come because my husband was home with my kids. Why didn’t I send them to go sit down, so I could squat down beside you? I should have looked into your streaked eyes and taken your hands. I wanted to tell you how much you meant to God, and how He knew your pain. I even thought about sharing with you the story of Joseph – how his brothers threw him in a pit and sold him. Just when things looked to be at the worst, God turned the situation around.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 NIV
One of my life’s missions is to change the world one person at a time by caring and meeting the needs of those around me. I’m sorry, because last night, in my own selfishness, I passed you by. You are still on my mind today. I’ve prayed for you several times. I pray the God of all hope and peace brings you comfort today. I pray you have no need for tears. I pray if I see you again, I will be bold. I will be an ambassador for Christ.
You may never read my words, but I needed you to know how I felt. Again, I ask your pardon. May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The newly pregnant girl who couldn’t breathe well last night and was sent to the E.R. only to find out everything was A.Okay.