As I mixed up his IV medications, I overheard my patient talking with the other nurse. Gruff, negative, tough-guy-attitude. Complaining about his job—“hating every minute,” he said calmly. This comment—in an economy where there are those who would love to have a job they hate…just to have a job.
And when I searched for a vein to use for the IV, he joked about how he’d wanted to punch the last nurse that started an IV in his hand. Lucky me.
I was mildly annoyed with his dramatic, pessimistic attitude.
And in a brief moment, with rolling eyes…
I judged him.
Such a simple action. A moment in the mind. We evaluate and we label and we measure. By whose standards?
I had him all figured out from a few interactions. This complex child of God.
Later before his stress test, I reviewed his chart for a medical history.
And saw words like Divorce. Depression. Evaluating for suicide.
My heart plummeted. How could I have been so wrong?
This wounded soul. I was focusing on caring for his heart physically, but these were matters of the heart that a cardiologist couldn’t heal. Was he aching for love? Wondering his worth? And what had I done to help?
I, who am so quick to judge and slow to learn.
Sorrowed and softened by this newfound knowledge, I spoke more kindly. I treated more tenderly. I tried to love as Jesus would love.
Yet the lesson remains.
When I’m in a hurry, when I’m frustrated or annoyed, when I’m preoccupied with my own worries or pains…what wounded souls am I overlooking?
When I impulsively judge a person by their looks, their words, their actions…what wounded souls am I passing by like a Pharisee?
Holy Spirit, thank you for never giving up on me. Help me to see beyond the exterior. To obey your command not to judge (Matthew 7:1-5). Transform my eyes and my mind and my heart—to see and think and love as you would have me do.