Have you ever felt like you needed someone to hold you?
Even in the most challenging circumstances, some people know how to put others at ease. I had an operation last month, and I thought I was mentally prepared. However, when I arrived at the hospital I was a nervous wreck.
Fairly quickly, I was summoned in to see the anaesthetist. He asked me what I do for a living, so I explained that I was a minister. He told me he was a Catholic, and said, “You can take my confession!” He somehow managed to keep our discussion light, even though he had to warn me about the possibilities of what could go wrong.
I can hear your confession
As our meeting came to an end, to hold my nerves at bay, I kept up the banter. “I can still take your confession while I’m under,” I joked. This was where he got serious.
He told me that it cannot be proved, but that some anaesthetists feel that they somehow hold the patient while they are unconscious. On a physical level, they are taking care of our bodies and making sure that we come to no harm during surgery. Our life really is in their hands.
From a less tangible point of view, he felt that he had another connection with his patient while they were asleep. It felt like he was describing a spiritual connection – it wasn’t just by looking at the machines in the operating theatre that he knew what was going on with the patient, he had a stronger, more intuitive, sense of what how they were. He would know instinctively if something was going to go wrong.
Being held when we are vulnerable
There are other times when someone really does hold us in their hands. We are held as babies, with no ability to care for ourselves. We are totally reliant on our parents to look after us. The trust in the eyes of a tiny child is something to behold.
Other situations that come to mind are at challenging points in our lives. Being given a hug when we are feeling low can help us to have a sense of release. Our burden can be lightened a little. Having our hand held by a loved one when we are ill can lift our spirits. Both of these help us to know that we are loved.
We are always loved
Of course, the One who loves us most of all never leave us. We are always held in His hands, even though we don’t always feel it at the time. It is often when we have come through the dark time that we look back and realise that we were being gently carried all along.
Six weeks on, I still feel truly blessed at the thought that someone was caring for me so much while I was so vulnerable. Someone that I don’t know, that I won’t meet again. Someone that has such affection for the people in his care that he feels connected with them when they are asleep. I give thanks that there are such wonderful people in this world.
Who has held you in their hand when you needed it?
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