Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looked Like Jesus

When I was very new working in the States, and we were still living in Pittsburgh, PA, a member of the staff told me one morning, "We have a new patient in Room ___. He looks like Jesus." Eventually, that man was assigned to me. I knocked and entered the room. I looked. True enough, lying there in bed was "Jesus." He was white, gaunt, with shoulder-length sandy brown hair, and a bushy face. He looked very handsome in his sleep.

I remember feeling scared because whenever he was awake, he had that serious demeanor and a look in his eyes that told you he was thinking. He was as curious about this "Asian girl" as I was of him. He was soft-spoken when he talked of his family growing up, hippie days, a broken marriage, about brushes with the law.

He had Hepatitis C. Incurable. And he was always bleeding from somewhere. As I said, I was very new so it made me nervous going inside his room. He liked to follow me around, too, not only with his eyes, but physically. So I was always afraid he might slam the door one day and attack me. Really. Such thoughts on "Jesus." But I was always firm though kind, and he was compliant. At one point he said, I was becoming more and more Pittsburghian, and I didn't need to do that. He said to keep being Asian. What he didn't know was I was truly scared so I think I may have upped my act a little bit to gain some confidence.

He was homeless. I guess he found solace in that little room, and the consistency of the staff that cared for him. But one day they moved him to another floor. That day, I was assigned to other patients. But he requested that I transport him. I did. He looked very sad.

Within one week, "Jesus" died.


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The kindness that we do today goes a long, long way. (I'd credit the person but I don't even know who said this.)

25 comments:

Scarlet said...

This story is sad but sweet, and for being short, it left an impact on me. I'm glad you found a friend in Jesus for a while...even if he was a little freaky. I'm sure your kindness was very much appreciated.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Good reminder that for someone else, we're all "Jesus" and need to reflect His grace and mercy so others might know Him.
Less of me, more of Him.
Cherie, thanks for this post; food for thought for the rest of the day, if not longer.

cherie said...

i'm glad you liked it, scarlet. it just suddenly hit me yesterday to write about him. i hope he's happy wherever he is.

well, good morning to you, ms. sandy! i had been really thinking these days. i am glad i wrote this then because i needed to feel some Jesus time myself.

Icy BC said...

I hope Jesus found his peace, and rest in the loving hands of God!

You're a kind person, and I'm sure he appreciated your gentle touch..

Karinann said...

Hi Cherie,
Mother Teresa always saw Jesus in the poorest of the poor. This man who may have resembled Jesus physically truly was Jesus in his disguise of the poor and needy. He must have seen Jesus in you as well.Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning and for the follow.
God Bless!

Trudy said...

I agree with Scarlet, this is a sad but very sweet story. To be able to recognize that you were a powerful presence to "Jesus" at the time is a great thing.

T. Anne said...

Oh that touched me. you brought comfort to a dying man. You were 'Jesus' to him. What a great story.

Stephanie Faris said...

Someone once pointed out how often homeless men look like the photos we see of Jesus...and said, "What if that man you shun on the street is actually Jesus? Maybe you were meant to help him out?" Powerful, when you think of it that way.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I'm sure, in your job Cherie, you see alot of different people. It's interesting that this guy looked like Jesus. I'm sure he was spooky to you---just like he would have been to any of us.

Jesus wants each of us to show kindness to one another ---and I'm sure that Jesus is shining down on you for doing just that!!!!! You are GREAT, Cherie.

Hugs,
Betsy

Ebie said...

A very touching story, though he found solace in the room, he also found solace in you. You are a great nurse, compassionate with your work.
My main blog is here.

cherie said...

thank you, Icy. i pray for peace for him, too.

he was a sad man. i hope i made him happy even for a short while. thanks, karinann.

i am glad, ms. trudy, that although i was truly creeped up, i never thought to ask anybody to change my patient assignment.

i never thought of it that way. ihope i truly did, T. Anne. thank you!

truly powerful, steph. thank you.

it was hard because he was a heavy drug user and was undergoing some kind of withdawal, really spooky, ms. betsy. but in the end, i was glad i held out until the next change of assignments, without prematurely asking for a swap.

i hope i was compassionate enough, ate ebie. nursing calls for a lot. i have already cried many times because of patients who were dear to me.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Very touch story...compassion toward those less fortunate should be our way of life, amen! Lovely evening C!!
You are a amazing...

xo*

cherie said...

at that time, i was just a mousy immigrant who relied on instinct and the general rule of thumb of doing unto others what you want done unto you. but i look back now and i think it has done my self-esteem a lot of good taking care of him. i hope i was somehow of help to him, too. thanks, lenore!

ladyviral said...

May he rest in Peace. surely God will look after him :).

cherie said...

hey LV, i guess he had to go, too! winters in pittsburgh are not a piece of cake.

betchai said...

am sure you were of help to him Che and had made an impact on his life, when he asked you transport him says how much he value you as his nurse.

cherie said...

that must have been it, i was really humbled by that, beth. thank you.

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

My friend Jeanne, who I refer to constantly, is in nursing. It was because of losing a patient, while working in Hospice, that I was fortunate to meet her. She decided to change careers. She has seen too much death, and I was fortunate enough to interview her then work with and become friends. Life has many twists and turns and we are fortunate when we see "Jesus" in them. I am sure you meant a lot to this man and you will be blessed for your care of him.

cherie said...

thank you, judy. it is a sad profession as you see so many people sick or dying or dead, but it has its perks when the patients notice the things you do beyond your call of duty...

Jesusa said...

i hope someday when i'm in the hospital i'll be fortunate enough to have a nurse like you!

cherie said...

haha, you're a funny girl. for you, my services are free, even outside of the hospital! (knock on wood!)

Mei Teng said...

I am sure your kindness and your friendship to him will always be remembered by him.

It is true that a small gesture is remembered in big ways.

cherie said...

how nice of you to say that! thanks, mei!

shopannies said...

very interesting some I may never have known

cherie said...

thank you, ms. annie!

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