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Crowns of Thorns
Coronavirus
May 22

Crowns of Thorns

“I stood for—I suppose—a few seconds, dumbfounded, and then, finding my tongue, I said to her, ‘I would not cry, if I was wearing the crown of thorns like you are,’

"I Traced a Cross on His Forehead"

by Catherine Bulger

Becca Maslow (Servant Branch) is a nurse at a Minneapolis hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center. She normally floats between different units, but during the COVID-19 outbreak she has been working primarily in the intensive care unit.

One day in April, she was caring for an elderly man who was dying of respiratory failure because of COVID-19. That day, his physicians had decided to transition to providing comfort care, rather than pursuing aggressive treatments. The patient had one close family member living nearby, but that person was unable to come to the hospital. So he was alone.

Becca said, “It’s always hard for me to see people dying alone. Part of the heartbreak is that I’m often super-busy and I just can’t be with them the whole time.” That day, however, Becca’s care load was unusually light. She spent as much time as she could with the dying man, trying to keep him comfortable, praying silently under her breath.

Then one of the physicians came by to check on the man and consult with Becca. After the doctor left, she popped her head back in the room a moment later and said, “I found out he’s a Christian. I just wanted to let you know. I don’t know if you share the same beliefs, but I wanted to give you a heads-up.”

Becca was surprised. She doesn’t know that doctor very well, and they’ve never discussed faith. “There’s no way she knew I was a Christian. It’s not a topic that comes up much in the hospital setting.” So when she heard those words, out of the blue, Becca felt a jolt. “It was like someone hitting me over the head. I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I felt a freedom to be bolder.”

Becca closed the curtain around the patient’s bed to get some privacy, stood close to him, and held his hand. He was starting to slip out of consciousness. Bending to his ear, Becca told him that she heard he was a Christian, that she was a Christian too, and that she was going to pray with him. “I prayed out loud, asking the Holy Spirit to be with him, and I traced a cross on his forehead.”

Becca was able to be with the man most of the time he was dying, holding his hand and continuing to pray. He appeared calm and peaceful. Her other patient that day didn’t need much care. “That was another way I saw the Lord, as he carved out that time for me to be with this patient who was dying.”

Responses

  1. Bill Flynn says:

    Thank you LORD for being faithful to one who had followed you.

  2. Mike Zengel says:

    What a wonderful story of God's faithfulness to the dying man and allowing Becca to be able to minister to him as he was dying.
    Glory to God!

  3. marge Stanley says:

    Thank you for the work you are doing and for comforting and praying for that man and all the others you care for. And may the Lord keep you and your co workers free of disease. God's Blessings and Peae.

  4. Miriam Pena says:

    The Lord has blessed her richly with a gift of compassion. Thank you Becca for using the gift to the fullest.

  5. Sam Davis says:

    Thank you for sharing that story Catherine. It is amazing the intriguing, unexpected and simple ways the Holy Spirit opens doors to do the will of our Father. We just need to always ready and willing to walk through. May God continue to bless Becca as she cares for His people.

  6. Mary Lou Carey says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It reminds me of "midwife to the dying" title that is sometimes used for hospice nurses. It is precious to see how the Lord can provide the time and person to love one of his own into new life, in the midst of difficult circumstances.

  7. Mary Sue House says:

    Good for you Becca!! I was a hospice Home Care nurse (once in my CHILDHOOD)
    and had several experiences of Gods presence too) Keep looking for Him as He expresses His love for them /and you!

  8. Michelle Brackins says:

    Thank you for sharing this again. It is such a wonderful reminder to keep praying for others and to not be afraid to say so. God bless you, too.
    Michelle

  9. Kathy Joachim says:

    Thank you for praying and being there for him.

  10. Patrice says:

    Oh Becca, your story touched me deeply. God bless you for being the Lord’s tenderness and compassion to this man in his dying moments.

  11. Lillian Wiebeld says:

    This is such a beautiful story. It really blessed my husband and me so much.
    God bless Becca for her care and love toward her patient.
    We pray if we ever need someone like Becca, God will provide.
    You're wonderful, Becca. Keep up the good work you do for the Lord!!

  12. Mary L Louise Duddy says:

    Touching story, thank you

  13. Steve Doherty - New Orleans Branch says:

    May Jesus bless you abundantly, Becca. As a Respiratory Therapist for 39 years, Our Lord allowed me to realize how important it is to offer prayer and comfort the dying. To this day, many of my patients, young and old, living and deceased, that I cared for and prayed with are still on my mind. You have a wonderful heart and your patients are blessed to have you as their nurse. Don't stop looking to Jesus for your wisdom and love. Bless you.

  14. Pam Seale says:

    Thanks for the story, Catherine! I love that Becca is where she is and the Father is using her. Such a gift to the world and on that day to this man! Thanks Becca!

  15. Diane Ridenour says:

    Becca, thank you for sharing this precious story of how the Lord blesses the desires of our heart when we invite the Holy Spirit to move in our circumstances. Your love & concern for this man to experience the Lord’s presence as he was dying is such a beautiful witness. I will share your story with my daughter who is an ICU nurse practitioner. God bless and continue to use you! Diane

  16. Bonnie Folvarcik says:

    Your heartfelt sharing gave me Holy Spirit goosebumps. I just knew that the Holy Spirit had spoken to you through the doctor. I cannot imagine a loved one, or family member being alone while they passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. I am so glad you were able to be Jesus for this man In his waining hours on this side of the vail and that. God used you to comfort and bless him. What a gift of the Holy Spirit you have.

  17. Ruth Schiller says:

    Brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. God is so very Good!

  18. Bernadette Fossen says:

    You entered that holy time with the Holy Spirit being useful to the Lord,courageous and kind.

  19. Joseph Mutidjo says:

    Thank you, Becca, for sharing this.

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