Sacred Stories | Our Christmas Gift

“And [Jesus] replied, ‘What is impossible for human beings is possible with God.” – Luke 18:27 

A patient was struggling for her life. She was weak and barely aware of what was going on after several emergency surgeries. She said just one or two words at a time and could not keep her eyes open for more than a few minutes.

The patient’s daughter was by her side every day, praying for a miracle. Christmas was coming, and it seemed it might be her last. Would she be aware enough to celebrate with family?

On a busy Saturday morning, the woman hardly woke up as a physical therapist stretched her limbs and doctors evaluated her progress. Her nurse chatted away as she completed her routine. She hoped to get a smile or twinkle from her patient, who listened but was mostly unresponsive.

Then came our Christmas gift. Carolers arrived at the hospital to sing to patients and staff. Their voices filled our unit. As we stood outside the patient’s room to watch the carolers, a movement caught my eye. Our patient lifted her hand, and her eyes were wide open and glistening as a smile stretched across her face.

“Look!” I said. Life filled the cheeks of our sweet patient. Her nurse went to her and asked if she enjoyed the songs. The patient spoke of a childhood memory of carolers coming to her house. She asked if she could get up and sit in the chair. We were speechless and delighted.

Our patient improved so dramatically in that single moment that it had to be God. During the next several days, she continued to gain strength. All who cared for her were amazed. Although she was still in the hospital, she was able to enjoy the company of her family on Christmas Day.

I feel blessed to have witnessed her recovery. I pray every day to make a difference, and when God makes the difference, I am humbled. I am proud and am grateful to be a nurse, my vocation.

Submitted by Leah Harrington

Questions for Reflection

How can you foster hope in creative ways with patients, families, or colleagues?

When you have found yourself discouraged or losing hope, what are ways that someone has encouraged you

How has God surprised you?

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.