A Letter To My Colleagues

Nothing I can say or do will compensate for the burden now placed on your shoulders. If I were to come up with a magnificent display of characters, verbs, nouns, and the like, know that I would give them to you. But the hope I have does not come from calligraphy or neon lights; it’s nothing special. It’s just there, hiding in ordinary jars of clay and waiting to be seen. So, if you have the time, please read:

2 Corinthians 4: 7-9

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”

            We’ve been in the tunnel for months now, and the light at the end is conniving and cruel. At first, it is there, dimly seen, and then it is snuffed out and gone, leaving us in the dark once more. And I’m reasonably confident it’ll be a while before we see what’s on the other end of it. That light is not our hope; it has never been, nor will it ever be. So please don’t fall for its cunning claims of joy, happiness, excellent nurse-to-patient ratios, and getting back to clicking NL on API.

            “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 points out that Jesus Christ is the light in the darkness, and Jesus Christ has pointed out that he resides in us (John 15). It is the light that shines in the dark where true hope resides. Hope is in us, stored in ordinary jars of clay. While we are busy searching for hope, we often forget we exude it in everything we do. The work we do every day is hope for someone else who needs it. We are hope, and like a candle that cannot see its own shadow, we miss the fact that our light is brighter than the tunnel that buries us.

            Take a breath, look up from the myriad vital signs, med orders, and labs for a minute, and see the hope in scrubs beside you. We are the hope we’re looking for. Each of us carries us forward through the tunnel. And no amount of darkness can overcome that; no amount of darkness ever has. So be the hope you wish to see, and chances are that’s all you’ll see. Hope-bringers have hope.

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