Today’s article is another installment in Brother P.’s column, “Lessons From the Nursing Home.”
At the nursing home where I work, we had a situation where this guy lost his pants. He thought that they might’ve been taken to the laundry and not been returned yet.
Now, this man had a spinal cord injury many years ago, which caused him to have no sensation or movement in his legs and only very limited use of his arms. So, he could not hop out of bed and get down to the laundry room to look for the pants himself. He’d need help. So, he hit his call bell to get the attention of a nurse’s aide, and he also got on the phone to his wife.
I just happened to be heading that way when I bumped into his nurse’s aide just leaving his room. She was crying, so I asked what was wrong, and she told me the story of the lost pants. That the man was on the phone with his wife and both he and she were cussing and screaming about how they were going to go berserk on the facility and heads were going to roll. The nurse’s aide had already gone to the laundry and searched the room from top to bottom. And in return, she got a barrage of verbal assaults hurled at her.
I told the nurse’s aide that I would get the man into his chair and help with the search. So, when I got in the room, the man’s rage rekindled as he told me the story of how his pants were stolen. I told him I would get him a hospital gown, transfer him to his chair, and then help find the pants.
I got the gown, pulled down his bedsheets, and…
The pants were still on his body.
He couldn’t feel them, nor could he pull his sheets down himself, so he could not actually check to see if they were still on! (The nurse’s aide didn’t think to look there, either.)
As I think about how sheepish the man must’ve felt after realizing his mistake, my mind can’t help but go to James 1:19.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
The next time I’m tempted to blow my top over some issue, I’ll remember the case of the missing pants. I’ll remember how Jesus conducted Himself when He was wronged. And, if I’m fast enough to hear and slow enough to speak, then I’ll probably have a much better chance of responding in love.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.