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  • The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

    I was assigned, recently, to perform a blood draw on a patient. I walked into the room with my instructor, and the person lying in bed was difficult to look at, like an angel. She was nearly in middle age, but her physical development had kept her little more than the size of a child, and she stared out with the mind of an infant, wordless like Bethlehem’s Son of God. Even the bones in her face seemed barely formed, and her lips drawn back on her dark, protruding gums showed a clenched mouth of small teeth. She lay on one side, her knees drawn up to her chest, her arms intertwined in front of her. Her muscles so constricted that I could barely extend her arm enough to even search for a vein, and when I did, her skin was the soft, veinless skin of childhood. I searched over and over with my fingertips, hoping to find a blue bounce under the skin, but when I finally felt what I was looking for, I was unable, even after two tries to find the vein with my needle. My angel let out only a whimper. My heart said, “I’m sorry.” My instructor assured me that this was one of the most difficult blood draws I would encounter in most of my career, and after a few more attempts, she found the vein herself and our little vial filled with blood. I put my fingers in the tiny palm of our patient and gripped her hand, and when I did, she relaxed her arm more than she ever had before. And I held her hand for a moment. When I see her again in the Kingdom of God, and she is teaching Saints in the way of Christ, I will tell her that I am sorry that I hurt her. And she will hold my hand again.

    By · March 17, 2014 · contemplation, resurrection · [Print]

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