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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First Aid

About a year ago when Marc and I first started our adoption paperwork, one of the things we had to do was go through a First Aid certification class. So, one weekend in February we took the class together. It was great - we learned so much! One of the biggest things I learned was that First Aid, is exactly what it says it is... First Aid, not Final Aid or Only Aid or Professional Aid or Medical Aid. It's the first aid that's given before trained professionals can take over and actually doing the life-saving.

The most important thing we learned was how to most effectively respond in the first few minutes during an emergency, since those first minutes are so crucial. I won't get into the details, but there were some basic steps we were taught that can apply in just about any emergency. They are the 3 A's - Assess the scene and the victim(s), Alert Emergency Medical Services, and Attend to the victim(s).

Probably the most important step in there is the "Alert" part. The best thing for a victim is to receive professional help ASAP. Of course, assessing the situation and attending to the victim while waiting for help to arrive is important, but those are just meant to be ways of assisting the professionally trained medical people. Being first aid certified really means that it qualifies us with the knowledge that we may not know what we're doing and we need to get someone who does and FAST.

The last couple of days I've been thinking about what sort of protocols I follow when I need first aid for wounds that aren't physical. For those wounds you can't really call 911. That would be nice though. Please send emergency help to heal a broken heart. But, I've found that a lot of the steps are the same as what we learned in our First Aid class. Assess, Alert, and Attend... with the most important step being to get the best help from the best "doctor" as fast as possible.

But, while waiting for that help, there are ways we can "attend" to those wounds. Different things will work for different people, but things like running 10 miles, eating ice cream, or doing a Tarzan-like yell usually work pretty well for me. Well, at least initially... then, when I have to seriously attend to those non-physical wounds, I turn to things like calming music, writing, reading, prayer, or just simply sitting on my bed and looking out the window.

I would consider these things the "ambulance" that transports us to "The Doctor." As much as we try to bind our own wounds or dry our own tears by doing these simple things, the true healing comes only from He who has felt the depths of our wounds and knows how to take away the sting.

As the psalm goes: "[The Lord] healeth the broken heart, and bindeth up their wounds." And, Isaiah said, "the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces."

With all these thoughts on my mind, I taught a lesson in seminary this morning that goes along so well. We were reading in Numbers about the fiery serpents that were biting and killing the Israelites. To provide a way for the people to be healed from the serpents, Moses was instructed to make a serpent out of brass and put it on a pole. Anyone who was bitten by the serpents would be healed if they just looked up at the brass serpent on the pole. But, we learn that "because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished."

(I find it interesting that The American Medical Association has actually used this serpeant on a pole as their symbol. Kind of cool.)

Anyway, the reason why some of them wouldn't look was because "they did not believe that it would heal them." It was such an easy thing to do, though, that I would think it wouldn't hurt for them to just try it and see. But, at the same time I've had moments when I haven't immediately "looked." My excuses always seemed valid at the time. I need to go through this hard thing on my own, so I can learn what I need to learn. Or, I'll just wait and ask for help when I'm more deserving of it. Or, my pain is much too deep for anyone to reach. Or, I'm strong enough to handle this on my own - I don't need anyone's help.

When a person is physically ill, how ridiculous would it sound if they said, "Well, I don't want to burden the doctor with my sickness, so I'll just wait until I get better and then I'll make an appointment." Waiting to ask God for help until we're "healthy" is missing the whole point. "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick."

I've come to a realization that perhaps the most important thing I'm meant to learn from non-physical wounds is that not only am I unable to completely help myself, I'm not meant to do it all on my own. I am grateful for He who "rises with healing in his wings" and offers to carry my burdens and give rest to my soul. I'm grateful to know that I'm not ever alone, there is always One who knows how to run to me in my time of need.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings of eagles."

1 comment:

Calamity Jane said...

Megan that was beautiful and just what I needed. Thanks!