It was a very cold December night and some nasty weather and ice forecasted to move in soon. We drove to the hospital because we were quite sure Caleb had appendicitis… Definitely bad timing being my brothers wedding was 2 days away! We got to the ER and there were tons of people there, some seeming like they needed to be there but most just seeming like they wanted an excuse to get out of the weather or get some attention. We got signed in and the lady told us it might be a while. We sat down and got ready to wait awhile.
After not long a couple in their 30’s that had the cutest little boy who was probably not older than 2 came and sat down across from us. He happily ate his goldfish crackers and giggled about stuff. Caleb laid his head on my lap and tried to find a comfortable position while I sat up and just had this waiting room of people to stare at for hours. I couldn’t help but keep noticing this couple and the little boy sitting across from us. I smiled at the little boy and he waved at me. His happy little innocence in this very unpleasant germ infested place cheered me up.
I couldn’t help but wonder what this couple who’s little boy melted my heart was here for. But as the minutes and hours ticked by I couldn’t help but notice how concerned the mom seemed to be. I don’t know if it was God or just the fact that I work around pregnant ladies all the time, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about her and wondering if she was in for something related to a miscarriage. The dad seemed concerned but he was trying not to think about whatever it was or at least not show it to anyone around him. Or maybe he just figured he needed to act like everything was fine to keep his little boy from being worried.
The hours ticked by and we both sat there waiting. Then out stepped a nurse and called out “Susan Roberts” in their very curt way. She jumped out of her seat as if she’d been on the edge of it the whole few hours we’d sat and never relaxed! I couldn’t help notice how worried, scared, and anxious she looked and I ask God to be with her and whatever was going on. My heart started to hurt for her as she walked back through the doors. I wondered if I would ever find out for sure what was going on or if this waiting room friend was gone for good.
A little while later they were escorted back to their seats across from us by the nurse and I could see that Susan was clearly trying to hold back tears and having a very hard time. After they were seated the nurse said “The report will take up to 2 hours to get back.” They both nodded their heads and the nurse walked away. I couldn’t help but be almost positive that she was indeed in because of something miscarriage related. She sat there biting back tears and trying to smile at her sweet little boy chattering away. Sometimes she would just look away and the tears would roll down her cheeks, my heart went out to her and all I could think was – somebody please just hug her, somebody please just hold her and be strong for her while she feels so weak! Her husband seemed busy with taking care of their little boy and like he just didn’t know what to do or say so he didn’t say anything. She just seemed so alone in her pain.
Finally after sitting there wondering why someone wasn’t hugging her or doing something to acknowledge her pain, it was like God spoke to me and said – Why don’t you be my hands and feet tonight and go hug her! I shook my head just thinking of how crazy that would seem! Two perfect strangers hugging in the middle of the packed ER! She would probably think I was crazy I told myself, she wouldn’t want me bothering her. But I knew deep down inside what I needed to do… I needed to be God’s hand and feet and Susan NEEDED someone to hug her or at least acknowledge her pain! I finally couldn’t take seeing her just sitting across from me sobbing anymore and I decided it was time to put away my worries of what she or anyone else might think of me. I walked the 6 long steps over to where she was sitting and told her I couldn’t help but overhear what the nurse said and asked her if she had come in because of a miscarriage, she said yes she had been having a lot of bleeding and they were afraid that the baby wasn’t okay anymore. I ask her if it was okay if I gave her a hug and she nodded. I couldn’t help but feel her pain so deeply! How I would feel if I was probably loosing a baby I had looked so forward to! My heart literally hurt for her and I started crying myself.
There in the middle of the Emergency Room packed with people, stood two perfect strangers hugging and balling their eyes out together over a little life so desperately wanted but maybe already gone. We were perfect strangers but somehow I felt her pain so deeply! We just stood there for a while hugging as the tears fell. I held her tight and her whole body almost seemed to go weak, in that moment she needed someone else to hold her up, to be strong for her when she was weak! In that moment it didn’t matter how weird we may have looked, it mattered that this sweet lady know that someone cared, someone felt her pain and she was not alone! In that moment of raw pain and tears with all our thoughts of pride and reputation put away, God gave us his presence of love and strength. He gave a little haven of strength and care in that very sterile, cold room. She told me thank you so very much and I told her I’d be praying for her and she sat back down.
Soon after that they were called back and then we were called back and I didn’t see them again. I wished so bad I could see her again and see how she was. I couldn’t get her off my mind and prayed for her as I sat up through the night waiting for Caleb’s testing and surgery etc. Now, months later I still can’t forget Susan, her pain, and her tears! I wish so bad I could somehow run into her again or had gotten her contact info to check up on her… but I didn’t. So I can just keep praying for this dear stranger who I came to care so much about in such a very short time, and who reminded me that God can come down and breath grace and strength into our painful situations when we put our pride and fear of people aside… Yes, even with a perfect stranger.
As you go about your life don’t get so distracted with the big things happening that you forget to keep your eye out and your heart soft to the strangers God might bring across your path. They may need to be hugged, prayed with, or shown that someone sees their pain and they are not alone!