The hospital is at the bottom of the list of my favourite restaurants.
The emergency room cots, the ICU beds and their amenities are not my chosen comfortable motel or place to spend even a few days away from home and the responsibilities of life.
In my more than 60 years of Christian ministry, I have visited patients and families in emergency, in ICU, in regular wards thousands of times. From visiting on the occasion of a baby’s birth to the feeble and dying leaving this earthly scene, I have been there to speak words of comfort, encouragement and hope.
I have seen the mangled bodies of accident victims, in excruciating pain, I have watched many people breathe their last and take flight to the world beyond.
I’ve also watched the sick recover and be restored to home.
I have spent all night vigils weeping with others and praying for a miracle.
I have rejoiced with friends and loved ones have been raised from a bed of sickness and watched their lives return to normal.
Doctors, nurses, technicians and caregivers have all had a part in the healing and recovery process. They are to be highly commended for their dedication, skills and care.
But now it was my turn. I had rejected the urgings and pleas of my wife and family to go to the emergency ward at Ridge Meadows Hospital. But I had become too weak and ill to dig in my heels or drag my feet any longer, so I reluctantly allowed them to take me there.
The care of the doctors, nurses and technicians, along with my family doctor and cardiologist was first class. They treated my infected, dehydrated body and replaced the chemicals and whatever else was missing from my blood stream. Moreover, hundreds of people around the world were praying for my speedy recovery.
After a night in emergency and nearly a week in ICU, I was sent home and have now fully recovered from this latest ordeal. I have learned some valuable, practical lessons: don’t wait till it’s too late to go for help and seek a cure for your illness; no matter how inviting and comfortable home is, the hospital was the only place to be; others more knowledgeable than myself knew far better than I did what I needed in order to recover and be healthy; do what the doctor prescribes and take your medicine no matter how bad it tastes; there is a spiritual component in the healing process.
The Bible teaches us that we are not only subject to physical ailments, but are born with a spiritual disease called sin. The Bible urges us not to resist, but seek help today. The source of our help is Jesus Christ, who died so that we can be cured from our sins and our sicknesses healed. He is the physician who forgives all our sins and heals all of our diseases.
Eddie Bradley is pastor emeritus at High Way Church.