Code Purple!

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Last night is over and I am glad. The sun is shining through this hospital window where I have been waiting in the darkness by Dad’s bedside. It was a night of angst while he experienced pain, nausea, and dizziness…and, every now and then, slept a little. It was a time when I kept thinking about how very much I need to be doing in other places. I have to speak seven times in the next eight days. My laundry at home is piling on up. My husband has eaten up all the food I left prepared for him. My daughter is starting to wonder if we are ever going wedding dress shopping and my son is coming home this weekend. What will he eat? I did keep thinking about these things, especially the lessons I need to prepare, but I did not want to turn on the lights and study, for fear that I would wake the sweet dragon. In truth, it will all be there still. But this one night of recovery after surgery, in this one dark room will never happen again.

It was about 2:30 a.m. when the excitement on this hospital hall occurred. I really don’t get out enough and I did not know what the shouts of “Code purple!” even meant when they started coming from both nurses’ stations. But from the sudden scurry in the hallway, the rolling of equipment past our room, and the intercom confirmation of the code which awakened everyone, I knew what was happening in room 330 could not be good.

I now know that a code purple means someone has stopped breathing. I do not know if the breathing in room 330 resumed. I do know that, while people take their final breaths all over the planet at all hours of the day and night, it gives me pause, in a dark hospital room when the code purple is happening in the room right down the hall. It gives me pause to think about that hospital room when the code occurred in my mother’s room. I think about the crisis and panic and rushing around that happened all around her, while the code had called her from a place of extreme pain to a place of complete and utter peace. The code, in some cases, is really a pretty good thing. I think about the quiet desperation I was feeling through the night and the sudden jerk to reality that made me, all in a moment, much less anxious and much more thankful. I think and wonder about the state of the soul in room 330 as it is likely leaving the tabernacle. I just think.

Mostly I think about the fact that every single one of us will be purple coded one day. There will come a time when I will just run out of breath. I will exhale and forget to inhale again. I will just retire from this job on this planet and while everyone else is rushing around, I will stop rushing…and rest. Code purple is not a bad thing—IF it does mean I can rest. But in order to rest, I must have made a time during this life’s labor to come to Jesus. I must, while heavy-laden with the stresses of living here, be thinking about the release of living there. I must take His yoke and learn of him. He is meek. He is lowly in heart. And it’s only through Him that I can find rest in the hour of my code purple.

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