I met with Henry* on one of my first home visits in as an APRN. I noticed the humble setting of his home but was struck by its peacefulness. Henry's demeanor set me at ease immediately.
He was 89 years old and recently diagnosed with diabetes. As we talked, he mentioned that his wife of 50 years had died that past week. He said I was the first person he had seen since her death. I froze. The more we spoke, the more I realized what a deep loss Henry had faced so recently. Only a day after his wife's passing, he learned he had prostate cancer. He shared this openly and was obviously eager for company. As I listened, I realized it was time to stop the medical charting: Henry needed me to be present. I gave him my full attention and made eye contact. After about 20 minutes, he stopped talking and grabbed my hand. He thanked me for listening. Then I realized that this meeting was a divine appointment.
In the busyness of APRN practice, it is easy to lose sight of these times. Clearly, God allows me to meet with people for reasons beyond the scripted purpose of the visit.
Jesus constantly demonstrated the act of being present. He spontaneously expressed compassion through his attention to individuals. In Mark 10, Jesus was setting off on a journey when a young man interrupted him with a crucial question. Christ listened, answered the question, and as this man engaged again, “Jesus looking at him, loved him” (Mark 10:17-21, ESV). Jesus gave those he encountered his attention beyond the obvious stated need.
The Holy Spirit in us allows us to discern the ultimate purpose that God is specifically leading us to. I'm learning to look beyond the stated reason for an encounter. As a Christian APRN, I trust the Holy Spirit to make me aware of these opportunities.
~Kristene Diggins, DNP, MBA, teaches for the University of Phoenix and Liberty University and manages a large NP practice. She has served overseas and as a FNP/GNP in primary care.
This article is condensed from Kristene Diggins’ column in the October-December 2018 issue of the Journal of Christian Nursing.
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