Last night at work I did one of the hardest things I have had to do in my very young career of being a nurse.
You see, when a patient passes unexpectedly and their family chooses to donate their organs, we do what is called a “walk of honor”. Any available staff member lines the halls of the hospital on the patient’s journey from the ICU to the operating room and as the family says goodbye to their sweet baby, we walk the family from the doors of the OR out to their car outside the hospital. We do this to honor the incredibly selfless and unimaginably heartbreaking sacrifice that family is making to donate their child’s organs to save the lives of so many others. We want them to know that while we cannot even imagine the pain they are experiencing leaving those hospital doors without the child they entered them with, they do not have to walk alone.
I see really hard things everyday, working with children with cancer exposes you to a lot of heartbreak. But, let me tell you, there is nothing that will pierce your core like seeing a mother being rolled on the same bed as her four year old child knowing her goodbye is minutes away. That image will never leave my mind. That image changes my whole perspective.
While I was standing in that hallway watching that sweet boy get rolled past me I felt God say, “Hannah I want you to honor the sacrifice I made, I want you to take time to line the hallway of each day and walk out each portion with me like you did with that family”. On the eve of Ash Wednesday and the start of the lent season I can’t help but reflect on how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice.
I have been learning a lot about intimacy with Jesus recently and how that can only be fostered through time with him. It does not have to look pretty or be made up of fancy words, he wants the raw, the vulnerable and the real. He wants our shower conversations & our car prayers. He wants us to honor the incredibly selfless & unimaginably heartbreaking sacrifice he made. The one he made because he loved us that much. He never wants us to walk alone. He wants our perspectives to be changed, because I guarantee that if we were to imagine the pain God experienced watching his Son suffer like he did, we would not be the same.
It is my prayer in this lent season, that our perspectives would be changed, that our time with Jesus would be great and intimate and most of all that we would take moments of each day to honor the ultimate sacrifice he made.
Hannah Dietzen, Class of 2013
RN at CHOC Children’s