“Please,” my patient said in a low voice, “do you think you could talk to someone or somehow see if I can get something to eat? I haven’t eaten in two days . . .” He started to cry, and I sat down next to him to hear what he had to say. Once he found his voice again, he explained that his wife was very ill, and he tries to visit her every day at her treatment facility. But with his tough financial situation, he doesn’t have money for food. After promising I would get him some food, I asked if I could pray with him as well. He looked surprised that I was willing to do that. After I prayed with him, I encouraged him, reminding him that God loves him, and that even though God doesn’t promise that we will never suffer, He always promises to be with us during our times of suffering. He nodded through his tears.
I put together a meal from what was available in the ER and brought it to my patient. He was extremely grateful. I hope that he felt full—not just of food, but of heavenly comfort and hope.
I often write Bible verses on the white boards in each of my rooms to encourage my patients. One that I frequently write is Isaiah 41:13: “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” That imagery is so comforting to me, like a father firmly grasping a small child’s hand, ready to face the world. I pray that my dear patient will hold onto God’s hand and allow Him to help him through this storm.