“Can you clean the floor by the locker rooms?” I heard a nurse ask the housekeeper. “There was blood on the bottom of someone’s shoe.”
Red shoe prints on the floor… The housekeepers wipe the evidence away with their mops, but the reality of what the red footprints mean cannot be wiped from our minds: life is fragile, at any time, even on routine, normal days. Even with incredible life-saving procedures, life is fragile.
This line between life and death is never far out of mind in a busy week at work. The world of heart surgery is full of reminders. Mild chest pain can turn into cardiac arrest. Normal sinus rhythm can become a chaotic life-ending tracing on the monitor. Routine surgical prepping and draping can turn into CPR. It’s impossible to not think, what if this person were someone I love?
Then, on a normal day this week, in broad daylight, just after noon on Wednesday, a local doctor (a friend of Dr. Halloran’s) was shot and killed, apparently by the family member of a patient. The healthcare community thinks, that could have been me, and they (we) are right.
Shocking and unexpected things happen on normal, routine days, changing lives forever.
Should we live in fear?
I’ve developed a few new temptations to fear since I started dating. I think these fears become heightened when I see tragedy around me, and think of the possibilities of what could happen.
Marnell is gone this weekend to Lancaster…just a routine trip to a church convention where he helps with recording audio.
“Come back,” I told him before he left as we stood on my porch under the stars.
We were both silent for a moment.
“We’ll let the Lord decide that,” Marnell said gently.
“You’re right,” I said. “I guess He decided this….”
“I think too He did.”
Is there any safer place than in God’s will? Not that we will be immune from bullets or heart attacks or accidents.
But to know that God is with us no matter what happens… to know His eye sees everything… to know He stands beside us in the rubble of a world broken by people rejecting Him… this is the safest place!
And perhaps, there is something we can learn from tragedy.
“Last night, he text me ‘Good night, I love you,'” a daughter told me while her dad was in the operating room in a high risk surgery. “He never does that!”
Without a doubt, we are all a bit like that father, each in our own way. In the routine of life, we easily forget to be grateful and kind. May we learn, even on the routine days, to spread kindness without measure!