Have No Fear

By Eileen Turner of Portland, Oregon, USA

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

I took a temporary position as a nurse to fill in at short-staffed hospitals. One day I was assigned to an intensive-care unit (ICU). I acquainted myself with the unit, policies, and equipment. Then I introduced myself to the patient.

Though seriously ill, she was not as critical as others in the unit. But she was terribly frightened and anxious, probably because of the intravenous and chest tubes and the uncomfortable confinement they caused.

So the rest of the staff could attend to the more-critical patients without frequent interruptions, I spent the entire day caring for her. I was comfortable with all of her equipment and assured her we would have a good day together.

Once I’d completed the physical assessment and checked her vital signs, she began to relax. There was a large picture window in her room. It was a beautiful sunny day. As I looked outside, I was startled to find a peaceful cemetery stretching over the grounds.

My first thought was, “Why does a hospital have an ICU room overlooking a cemetery?” The implications seemed evident. But I laughed and asked her if she’d seen the view.

She hadn’t, so I shared it with her, and it allowed us to talk more intimately about her fears.

Over the day, we had many moments of laughter, sharing, and a chance to relieve most of her anxieties as her condition improved.

This caused me to think there should be no fear in coming to the end of a life well-lived, because God’s steadfast love will not be removed. God’s compassion will be with us always.

Prayer for Peace:

Compassionate God, we thank you for your steadfast presence. Comfort us in our times of fear. Give us strength to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breathing slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring. With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will leave my fears in your hands.

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