A few years ago I was speaking in the fine city of Boston, and afterward a woman told me about the time she had been in the hospital for ongoing cancer treatment, lying in bed thinking that she wasn’t going to make it. She remembers being lower than she’d ever been before. filled with despair, wondering if she was going to die soon, when the night-shift nurse entered her room and began to lovingly care for her.
Throughout the night the nurse returned repeatedly, checking on her and calming her and reassuring her and speaking to her in a way that lifted her entire being and gave her hope.
In the morning, she woke up feeling like a different person. She then asked the morning nurse for the name of the woman who had been caring for her, giving a detailed description.
The nurse explained that no one who fit that description worked on that floor of the hospital, not to mention the night before in this woman’s room.
One evening, in the emergency room, a seventeen-year-old boy was brought in with chest pains. He’d been playing in a church basketball game when he collapsed. lie was placed in one of the two glass rooms directly across from the desk where I sat using the computer. He was alert and talking while being given a full cardiac work-up.
A few minutes later, a trauma was called. IZMS came rushing in with another seventeen-year-old who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest while committing an armed felony He was placed in the glass room to the left of the first boy. The trauma team went to work on him and, although they didn‘t expect him to make it to surgery, the surgery team was notified.
Even though the first boy couldn‘t see what was going on next door, he started praying out loud for that person’s life to be spared. It was then that 1
saw the death angel. He looked just like the many pictures I had seen of an angel. Then I saw the young basketball player close his eyes and lie back. His spirit came out of his body and stood between the death angel and the other boy. 1 clearly heard his words. “Take me in his place. I am ready.”
Just as all three vanished, the cardiac monitor alarmed and straight-lined. Instantly the code team was in the room working on the young basketball
player. All the emergency heart equipment, code cart and medications were already at his bedside. His cardiac specialist was right there at the desk. He
should have made it, but he didn‘t. The young criminal with multiple gunshot wounds should not have made it, but he did.
I, like the other workers in the emergency room, was stunned. I wasn‘t about to tell anyone what 1 had seen. However, when I was asked to minister to the grieving family of the young basketball player I found myself telling them what I saw. The mother listened intently and she actually smiled. “Thank you,“ she said. “Just before you came in, l was asking God why. Why He took a boy as good as my son, so young. He sent my answer through you.”
Now you see why I rarely tell these stories. I‘m a nurse, and I see spirits.