On Ward C8 I seemed to be the only one who had to remain immobile. Physiotherapists worked busily to keep others active. Two men had been smashed up by motor-cycle accidents, another as a pedestrian in a car accident. Others were recovering from hip and knee replacements. Exercises, practice lessons with crutches and zimmer frames were going on all around me.
In contrast I lay in total stillness, commanded to lie motionless and utterly dependent on nursing care. Many of my readers will know what utter dependence means! It was strange that within seconds of a nurse bending over your bed you knew how kind and caring she or he was. Early on, one nurse who called me 'My lovely' (!) expressed kindness tangibly in everything she did. I hoped that she would be the one to answer if I pressed the buzzer! After 24 hours she was the one who brought the bowl of warm water and began to wash me so gently and respectfully. My back which had been pinned down ever since the accident was lifted and as she bathed it I felt incredibly grateful. Really, it was a ministry moment of bliss!
To differing degrees all the nurses expressed care and concern. Not one person seemed unmotivated to care in spite of huge pressures from patient needs, constantly demanding buzzers and (especially at night) staff shortages. I thought of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5 22-23) and how many of these qualities express just such high quality caring: love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. The Christian's motivation is of the highest order - belonging to Christ and living by the Spirit. I couldn't help thinking how challenging it is to apply that sentence to believers: 'not one person seemed unmotivated to care in spite of huge pressures'.