My workplace is in the midst of some major restructuring. The changes were not proposed to punish anyone but to make sure that we're solvent as we go into uncharted territory. Major changes are coming to the way hospitals are reimbursed. As you might imagine, there is quite a bit of anxiety. Sometimes when people are anxious, they lash out at each other instead of banding together.
I especially felt under attack yesterday by someone who I have sensed resents my presence and my authority. I walked away from a rather tense meeting wondering why I get up so early and drive so far to put up with such abuse. Part of me just wanted to run out the door and never come back, but I decided this would not be prudent in the least, especially in our current economy. This is probably also the reaction the offending person was hoping for. I concluded that I needed to get used to the idea that I'm pretty much on my own as my boss is powerless to do much about our challenges right now and that my only real help comes from the Lord.
There was a sense of peace that came over me. In a moment of loneliness, I realized that it's times like these that bring us closest to the Lord. Rather than give in to despair, which I'm sometimes quick to do, I chose to see my situation as way to share in the rejection and anguish of the Savior. Still, I found myself growing teary-eyed.
I went back to my office to get ready to leave for the day. There was a knock at the door and it was one of my nurses, a very pleasant, bright and capable young lady who is mature beyond her years. She came to deliver some news that I'd sensed would be coming almost from the time I met her. She will be leaving to pursue her doctorate. Part of me was hoping she would take a charge nurse position and she knew this, so she wanted to come and talk to me personally. She told me she wished I had arrived a year earlier so we could have worked together longer.
"The good people here, the ones that put their heads down and do their jobs and never complain - they really love you." , she said. "I don't know why, but I felt like you needed to hear that right now."
Although I admit to feeling a little heartbroken that I would be losing such a strong ally, I also knew that the Lord sent her as a gift at a time when I needed a lift. He couldn't help but reach down and find a way to dry my tears.
I sat in the chapel tonight before leaving for home, and I thought of the challenges that would await me when I return tomorrow. St. Therese came to mind. She wrote about degrees of holiness. She knew that in order to be a saint, we need to offer much. It occurred to me that rather than look to the Lord to shoulder my burden, I should present myself to Him so He could, if He so chose, to let me carry it myself and thus offer some consolation to His Sacred Heart.
I was not there to help Him carry His Cross. But if I try to carry my own without complaining, perhaps it might ease the pain of rejection that comes His way from so many neglectful souls.
"I will not be a saint by halves!" cried St. Therese, as she reflected on the ways we can grow in holiness. I hope I will not be either.