Sacred Stories | It Only Takes a Second

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– Psalm 34:18 NIV

Nursing school taught me that nurses meet many challenges. Years ago, I was working in labor and delivery when a young couple came in, their faces taut with distress.

The young woman was four months pregnant and had just lost her baby. Communication was a challenge because she spoke no English.

I had no idea what the couple’s spiritual beliefs were, and I could not speak their language. But I knew they were in pain, and I wanted them to know how sorry I was that they had lost their baby. So as her appointment ended, I looked at the woman. I touched my finger to my cheek near my eye, traced a tear down my face, then touched my heart.

This simple action brought much-needed tears to all of our eyes. It only took a second. It crossed language and cultural barriers that exist only because we let them. Each of us has the ability to communicate at levels much deeper than words. It is our thoughts and actions that people read. With a little extra thought and care, we can enhance the medical care we provide to touch our patients – and maybe ourselves – a little deeper.

From the Sacred Stories Archive

Questions for Reflection

In what ways does compassion rise above words?
How can accompanying a person in need bring people together?

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.

If you have experienced God’s healing presence in your work, and are considering submitting a Sacred Story, please review our Sacred Story Guidelines and online submission form.