After an overnight in the Royal Children’s Hematology Unit, Joseph is back home playing with his brothers. Soon after we arrived at the hospital Joseph’s temperature began to decline. We were admitted and Joseph slept in a bed across the hall from where he was admitted 2.5 years ago. No IV was required and Joseph slept well – even through his “obs” or observations taken every four hours. In the morning I looked at his chart and saw that his temperature had dropped overnight to 36.0 C.
In the morning Joseph was feeling well and ready to eat and play. We went out to the common area on the Hematology ward where there are toys and a nurse brought Joseph some breakfast. He was delighted. He looked around and said ” Daddy, they have some nice toys here!” and he proceeded to play and eat some breakfast.
After a bit his consultant came up smiling, enjoying his play and his chat. She did a physical exam of Joseph and went over his test results. He was healthy and able to go home. The overnight was a precaution to make sure that the fever was not from a run away infection.
This was the first time in 2.5 years that we had been on the Children’s Hematology Ward overnight. The ward has been totally rebuilt and updated. Again I was aware of how blessed we are to have such a top notch facility so close to our home. It was also a time to see a few of the doctors and nurses who served us so well over two years ago. They were happy to see Joseph doing well and growing. While we certainly remember the excellent care we received it was clear that, in the midst of all the people that they serve, we were remembered as well. The nurse who brought Joseph his breakfast asked me if I would like a cup of tea and then said with a smile – “just milk with that – isn’t that right?” She was recalling the many cups of tea that she and others provided two years ago.
As we were leaving we saw a staff member with a packet of tissues at hand. They were off to the side with their back to us. Was there a personal crisis? Was there a patient who was not going to get better? It was a silent picture of the deep humanity of these skilled professionals that serve so well.
This picture reminded me that it is humanity that sets Jesus apart from all other gods. Jesus, unlike any other god, does not just have sympathy for us, but He has empathy for us. He lived and died as a human being. He knows from first hand experience pain, sorrow, being misunderstood, being hated, fatigue, thirst, losing friends to death, being betrayed. He experienced all those things by choice, as part of His great love for us. He chose to bond His deity with humanity in a way that we can not comprehend. And now the God Man who walked on this earth sits on the throne of heaven in a resurrection body that is like the one He has promised to give to all who are His on the last day. There is no barrier of separation between us – He knows all the worst about us and paid for it all. He has not overcome sin, hell and death to gather a race of slaves – rather He calls us ‘friends’ and ‘brothers’. Yet, because He is the God Man he is not crushed by the sorrows and sins of this world – nor does He have to distance himself – He is willing live inside your world and experience all the pain and joys full strength and open the family of heaven to you. Would it not be a pity to miss the most wonderful relationship anyone could have due to fear, pride or unbelief?
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15