Got Any Pain Pills?
I was having one of those days where I just wanted to leave work and go home. My patient was being demanding and his needy condition was really getting on my nerves.
I know I should have been more sympathetic to his condition. He’s a quadriplegic who has lived in a nursing home for years after a car accident left him paralyzed. His nurse found blood returning from his feeding tube this morning, so we transported him to the hospital for a GI bleed.
The nursing home is across the street from the hospital, making the transport time about two minutes. It’s amazing how irritated I can get on such a short transport. On the way out the door he asked for a glass of water. His nurse was nice enough to send his cup of ice water along, but I’d set in on the back of the gurney and somehow it managed to tip over. The water was now all over the floor. I told him he’d have to wait a few minutes. Next he wanted me to suction his tracheostomy. It didn’t seem like he needed it, but I complied with his request and suctioned him a couple of times as we left the nursing home. Before I had the suction equipment put away he asked for a pain pill. That’s about where I lost it.
His demands had gotten the better of me and in a stern voice I told him I didn’t have a pain pill I could give him and we were going to be at the hospital in about 30 seconds and I’d really appreciate it if he would just chill out for a few more minutes until we got there. Normally it takes a lot for someone to get on my nerves, but today, for some reason I was unusually irritable.
My partner must have heard me and knew that I was pretty irritated. When we were through with the call, he drove across the street to the restaurant that he knows I like to eat at. He said I looked like I needed lunch. He was right. I was hungry, so I thanked him and when the ambulance came to a stop, I hopped out.
As I walked to the entrance of the restaurant, a stranger walked up and asked if I had a pain pill. Wondering if it was some kind of cruel joke, I just looked at him for a minute.
In what world do you walk up to a paramedic in a parking lot and ask for a pain pill?
Then a thought came to my mind. Maybe this was a divine set-up. Maybe it was an opportunity to get this guy healed. So I asked why he wanted a pain pill. In broken English he told me about how he’d fractured his leg in two places in a work-related accident and how the surgery to repair it didn’t go too well. He pulled up his pant leg and showed me the scars near his calf and ankle. He now lives in constant pain. I told him we should go inside.
Once inside, I got in line to order. He stayed near the door, looking around like he was waiting for someone. After I ordered, I went back and asked him if he wanted to be healed. He said “sure.” I told him I was going to pray over his leg. I got down and laid my hand on his leg, just above the ankle and commanded the ligaments, bones, muscles, tendons and nerves to be healed in the name of Jesus.
He felt warmth going through his lower leg so I continued praying then I asked him to test it out. He walked around the lobby for a while said it felt better but there was still some pain. I placed my hand on his lower leg and repeated the process. Once again he tested it out and again he said it was better, but there was still a little pain remaining. I prayed a third time and afterward, he said the pain was just about completely gone.
People in the restaurant were looking at us, including a woman who seemed more interested than most of the patrons. I looked at her and said, “What are you smiling at?” She said, “If you’re through praying for my husband, will you pray for me next?”
As I approached, I put my arm around her shoulder and asked what she needed prayer for.
“I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow to have a hysterectomy. They found cancer and I’m really scared.”
I placed my hands on her shoulders and asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence. I felt His glory arrive and noticed that she was starting to sway back and forth. I asked if she felt anything. She said she felt a wave of peace washing over her. I commanded cancer to leave and declared her complete healing of all sickness and disease. When I was done praying she gave me a warm hug and thanked me. Her husband shook my hand, unable to say anything. He just smiled from ear to ear. I picked up my food and headed for the door. Somehow, all that irritation I felt a few minutes earlier was gone.
People ask for pain pills because they’re in pain. Jesus sent us into the world to take away the pain and suffering of mankind. Not with pills — but with power. He also sent us as messengers of peace. Maybe I need to learn how to live from the peace of His presence a little more often. God knows I could use a little more peace and less irritability. The peace He brings is amazing.
I hope that 2014 will be a year of knowing His peace and His presence in a greater way for all of us. Thank you for letting me be a part of your life.