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brushed his teeth. Lastly, I had to remove his IV line. His
veins were weak and I had to work carefully and slowly. As
I washed and peeled the stubborn tape, he stopped me.
“Thank you, miss,” he said softly.
My heart was breaking, but I managed to get him ready
to leave. As he gathered his few belongings and I went to
finish his paperwork, I heard him ask me, “Miss? Can you call
me a cab?” I turned, naively thinking I had misheard him.
“Sir? A cab? Do you mean you would like your family or
friends to pick you up?” He smiled sadly, “No, Miss. I don’t
have anyone. Can you please call me a cab?” I nodded,
backing out of the room numbly. I called him a cab. I
walked him out and watched him leave, hunched into the
backseat of a taxi. Alone. And somehow I made it all the
way to the bathroom, where I sobbed for him.
They tell you not to get involved with your patients
emotionally, but sometimes they break into your heart
uninvited. I realized that day that worship is more than
songs. It means loving people through my week. And if I sit
in church on Sunday and sing songs but cannot love my
patients, my co-workers or my friends the other six days, I
can’t call myself a worshipper.
Sometimes it means belting out a song in an unknown
key next to my uninhibited nephew. It means apologizing
for my quick temper. It means letting that other driver go in
front of me. It means bringing flowers to that single mom.
It means mailing a card, giving a hug, holding a hand. And
sometimes, loving someone, worshipping through service…
means calling a cab.
I was fairly certain that Chris Tomlin’s rendition of
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” had never been
sung with such volume, nor in that particular key. The
extraordinarily enthusiastic vocalist was my seven-year-
old, towheaded nephew. I watched him last Sunday,
slightly jealous of his toothless, off-key joy. I can’t
remember the last time I sang like that. “When did I lose
that?” I wondered.
In Exodus 8, Moses is trying to free the Israelites. Verse
1 says, Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say
to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that
they may worship me.’”
Did you catch that? The Lord wanted His people
released; that they may worship Him. We are a ransomed
people, set free from bondage, cut out of a legacy of
slavery, rushed into the light of freedom. Why? That we
may worship. What a heritage. What a glorious charge.
A few months ago, I was having coffee with a friend who
made a mention in passing about how we are called to be
worshippers every day of the week. How hasty I am to box
worship into a Sunday morning habit. How quick I am to
forget that worship is to permeate all of our being. And
how quick I am to miss the point sometimes that it has
to be a lifestyle rather than lip service. And how quickly
God has revealed that loving people can be a synonym for
worship. I learned this a few months ago.
He was my last patient of the day. It was the end of my
internship on the surgical floor as a student nurse and
after ten hours of a difficult shift, I was tired.
I scanned his chart. Good. He was going home. I had
delivered poor prognoses all day and was ready to deliver
some positive news. I waltzed in to find a frail, older man
sitting on the edge of the bed. A sweet gentleman I had
been assigned to for weeks...
Confused, I scanned the chart again. Oh. We weren’t
sending him home because he was getting better. We
were sending him home because there wasn’t anything
else we could do. I washed his hair, helped him dress and
By Grace Cartwright