A Moment in Time – June 17th, 2019
June 17, 2019
Peace Under Duress
Have you noticed lately that our human family is under duress? I see stressed faces now as I record today’s devotional in a busy airport with weather delays. So you may hear some background noise.
This weekend, I wasn’t in a Baltimore hospital emergency room for more than 10 mins before it became clear to me that my fellow Homo sapiens are constantly navigating stressful situations.
Faces contorted. Blood pressure elevated. Comfort elusive. Life is stressful.
Remember I concluded last week by telling you I’d be by my dad’s side at the hospital on Friday? Well, I made it and I’m so glad I did. It was the best Father’s Day weekend gift I could have given him. My dad got to listen to the live broadcast of Friday’s devotional as the attending nurse pricked his arm with a needle to engage his blood work. Things were going well.
So how did we end up in the ER? Well, what was supposed to be a routine Executive Physical exam went south when the administering doctor pulled our family into the side room and gave us one of those gloomy reports that would have left some families in tears: “I’ve looked at your dad’s blood work and there is no need to continue the physical. His kidneys are not functioning and he really needs to go directly to the ER immediately. I am not sure how he is walking around like this. If he had to travel today I would advise against it. I saw some things in the blood work and I am very concerned. He will likely need to be in the hospital here for weeks”
My dad, mom, sister and I looked at each other with composed concern. The room went quiet. There were a few head nods of acknowledgement mixed with apprehension as we sought to process the sudden turn of events. But no one panicked. It was weird. I think we experienced “a peace that passes all understanding” moment that the Word talks about… a peace that don’t make no sense! Our composure was sealed as my dad reassuringly said: “it’s ok, that’s why we came; that’s why I’m here; to find out what’s going on.”
We were transported to the ER. I must admit, it was nice to see so many black and brown folks running things in the ER of Johns Hopkins (when you live in Columbia, MO, stuff like that really stands out). I was impressed by the attentiveness of the staff: an Asian nurse wheeling John, a white male who was frustrated and alone. He couldn’t hear her call his name but instead of blaming him or becoming belligerent, she simply comforted him and apologized that he wasn’t able to hear his name when she called out. The kindness and professionalism continued with Anthony who wheeled my dad for his new set of blood work during the triage process. There was the cool police officer whose smile and demeanor communicated that the ER was in good hands; and there was also a chiseled brother with a manicured beard and 3 parts on the left side of his head. He was smooth, kind and looked ready for the side profile picture you’ll see on the side of a Just For Men advertisement in Essence Magazine.
And then there was Sophia—oh Sophia. Our precious Sophia. Sophia is the real MVP.
My family had said very few words during the triage process but it was enough for Nurse Sophia to notice something familiar and then ask the following question: “Is that a Bermudian accent?”
Our response with a smile: “yes”
She continued: “I went to school with some really cool Bermudians. I know a lot of them. I know Travis, Dwayne and Wayne Caines…”
Our response: “Did you go to Oakwood ?”
Her response: “Yes… I’m Adventist” before naming other Bermudians we know and love.
The rest, as they say, is history! Sophia checked on us, loved on us and directed us with care and precision!! She is what I call a Border Crossing Sistah: She set high ‘expectations’ for herself and her staff. Her ‘positive exposure’ and experiences with other Bermudians allowed her to connect and create community quickly with us. And her expressions of compassion and kindness allowed her to execute with love and professionalism.
Sophia Walker embodies what it means to “depart to serve!” and my dad is a living witness of what James 3:18 NLT describes: “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
Dad is a peacemaker and he is actually doing far better than what the test results suggested. By 4pm on the same day, we were discharged from the ER and sent back to outpatient services to complete his Executive Physical. Hallelujah!
Wherever you find yourself today, I hope you’ll follow Sophia and my dad’s lead by be a peacemaker — a maker of peace. Go and make peace today in a world that is under duress.
This is Dr. Ty Douglas, author of Border Crossing Brothas, and I want to
invite you to experience SALT—So Amazing Life Today; it’s available to
each of us, in Christ.
You can reach Dr. Ty at www.DrTyDouglas.org and follow him at @DrTyDouglas.
Link to purchase Border Crossing Brothas: https://www.amazon.com/Border-Crossing-«Brothas»-Navigating-Critical/dp/1433135388