Sunday, March 3, 2019

60 seconds.

"All I need is one minute of your time." - Mary Mary


Sunday rounds today, my senior resident and me

Me: "What questions do you have for us?"
Her: "I don't have any questions. Y'all answered them. Thank you."


Me: "Okay. Is there anything else you need from us before we go?"
Her: "May I have one minute of your time?"
Us: *looking at each other*
Me: "Sure. Tell us what you need."

She extended both of her hands out toward us, gesturing for each of us to take one of them. We did.

Her: "I'd like to pray for you. Is that okay?"

My breath hitched. I didn't want my resident to feel pressured or uncomfortable. Had I been alone, this would have been a no brainer. Fortunately, my resident didn't seem to mind.

Our patient then closed her eyes and clasped our fingers inside of hers. Softly, deliberately she petitioned on our behalf. She spoke over our careers, our families, asked for our protection, patience, wisdom, compassion and that we be empowered with the energy we need to keep going. She asked that no weapons formed against us ever be able to prosper and that we always, always recognize that we have been commissioned as healers.

Commissioned as healers, she repeated.

After saying amen, she hugged us one at a time, tangling us up in her IV and oxygen tubing. It was so tender and genuine. It was like she had made up her mind to infuse us with as much grace as she could possibly muster.

"I receive this," I told her. "Thank you so much."

"Let Him use you," she said.

And we nodded in response.

If you had any idea the things that this patient was battling, you'd fall to your knees crying. I'd hoped she'd ask me for something like an ice-cold Coke from the vending machine. Or a pack of gum. Or even a latte from the coffee shop. But instead, she wanted to give.

To give, man.

The older I get, the more I recognize that a heartfelt gift often blesses the giver more than the recipient. I'm not sure where my resident stands when it comes to faith, but I love that she was gracious and welcoming of what our patient had to offer.

Yeah. That.

That reminds me: A friend of mine who doesn't believe in God once said, "But that doesn't mean I turn down folks praying for me. I need all the prayers I can get." Remembering that made me smile and wonder less about my resident.


We finished rounding in time for me to scoot across town to join my family for church service. As I slid into the pew to join Harry, all I could think of was this tender prayer spoken over my life and that of my family by a critically ill patient who had every right to think of no one but herself.


I closed my eyes. Lifted my hands. And decided to return the favor.


Happy Sunday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . .


  1. You know I'm not a prayer but that woman extended what I would call a blessing. And I would have received it gratefully and humbly.

  2. SO glad you are blogging again!! As a reader, I missed your voice and hoped you and your family were well. You absolutely are comissioned to heal, even with your words. God bless you!

  3. Long time since I went scrolling through your blog, dear Grady Doc. Glad to read this story.

    Please note, I'm totally your friendly neighborhood atheist unbeliever. Anyhow, should I find myself in your resident's shoes in a story like that, I would gleefully and thankfully accept the gift.

    Thanks to share.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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