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Bless The Lord O My Soul

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing your song again.

I prayed for Nina Pham yesterday. I prayed a pithy resident’s prayer. The prayer took (give or take) the amount of time that it takes for me to walk from my parking space to the revolving door of my hospital. In a huge tertiary care facility, a resident might have a formidable trek from her car to the revolving doors. But in my dear community hospital…residents can park in posh physician parking spaces and make the journey to the hospital in less than two minutes.

I prayed for Nina Pham yesterday. She’s a nurse and she must be scared. Her family must be scared. So Jane Doe…nurse…has Ebola.

I try to make all nurses my friend Kate…”Kate the Great” I call her.  This is sometimes hard, sometimes easy, depending on if she is a super nurse (smart, sweet, dedicated, awesome) or not.

At the close of my pithy prayer for Nina Pham …a pang of bitterness struck me.  I did not pray for Thomas Duncan.  O — we talked about him. In passing, in the physician lounge. Was there an act of terrorism in him lying on his forms about being in contact with someone who had Ebola? Was there simply a primal basic fear? I must leave this place and live…or live and then die comfortably.  O — we talked about him.  My prayer was punctuated by bitterness.

There are talks…some whispered, some with public tones, about hospitals and treatments and nurses and personal protective equipment.

My thoughts went to Ken Brantley. I prayed for Ken Brantley. I even passed along the Christian Medical & Dental Association’s little prayer line e-mail to others I knew. That seems so long ago now. Almost humorous in its distance and ephemeral quality. Ken Brantley safe, dying and then miraculously not dying in Georgia.

I prayed for him and I didn’t believe.

(Lord I believe — help my unbelief).

In some sort of pop culture daydream…Ebola was Dustin Hoffman and Patrick Dempsey in “Outbreak” and snippets from “The Hot Zone.”

O — Lord teach us how to pray.

I am thankful for the Lord’s prayer. Not showy — not too long. But a prayer I can pray with the Saints — from 2,000 years ago.

I am thankful for doctors who taught me how to pray with and for my patients. Sometimes the frenzy and the expectation is muted with blessed calmness and I remember to pray for and with my patients.

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Jocelyn Mary-Estelle Wilson Jocelyn Mary-Estelle Wilson (5 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine

My education includes a BS in biology from Whitworth University, a MPH from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and an MD from East Tennessee State University. In addition to family medicine, my interests include Christian apologetics and French, British, and American literature.