Sacred Stories | Like a Grain of Wheat

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” – John 12:24

Sometimes, healers need healing. And often, caring for patients heals the healers. This is what happened when a man was admitted to one of our intensive care units  with severe complications from  influenza.

Almost no one on staff had much hope for his survival. One reason was the severity of his case. Another was a sickness of spirit among staff members who were grieving the recent and shocking murders of local police officers. The staff knew these officers, and had grown accustomed  to seeing them in the emergency department. They were friends, and the entire staff was grieving their deaths when this man was admitted to the ICU.

For the first week, the patient’s condition didn’t improve.  Then, one of the doctors ordered a special bed that would place him in a prone position. The staff had not seen this type of bed before and some said, “Really? That thing’s going to make him better?” After the second week, they began to think, “Well, maybe he might possibly live.”

Under the heavy burden of their grief and the daunting odds against this patient’s recovery, the ICU staff kept their focus, attention and commitment to his care. They kept faithful to their covenant of care while enduring their own dark night of the spirit.  As this patient gradually began to heal, so did the ICU staff. Their selfless demonstration of compassion and excellence  brought about his healing; in return, his healing rejuvenated them. Similar to the grain of wheat as they gave of themselves, their spirits found rebirth. 

Shared from the Sacred Stories Archive

Question for Reflection

Reflect on a time when you experienced healing through helping others. Who recently has brought renewal to your life or spirit?

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.