When We Worship



In my job as a psych nurse, I interview people who are admitted to the unit.

The entrance interview is one of the favorite parts of my job because it gives me time to ask a list of quite probing questions which allows us see what life circumstances actually brought them to the unit. In this way I can understand them better, and write a summary in such a way that the other professionals on the unit can review the information without making the person constantly rehearse painful details.

This intake interview also gives me a first hand opportunity, feet on the ground, to minister healing and wholeness to people by listening calmly without judgment, just by giving them an opportunity to be heard. Great healing comes when people open up and share very private, painful things which have devastated them with another human being, although a stranger, who cares about you.

People often come to us on a physician’s hold or a police hold, meaning that someone has determined that they need to be protected and not released until further evaluation shows that they are safe. A hold is an act of kindness, but it does not feel that way to people who have had to be shackled during transportation to prevent them from jumping out of a moving vehicle, or when their shoelaces and anything they could hang or cut themselves are removed from them.

I welcome people to our unit with an outstretched hand. Almost always the first thing that I say to them is that they are not being punished. We are a hospital and a place of healing and safety for them. I also promise them protection of their health information.

The information that people give to me is a sacred trust. I do my best to be faithful in relating it to the other professionals who are prescribing and making plans and decisions to help them. It does not go anywhere else.

I hear the stories of incredible brokenness, abuse, grief, suffering, regret, addiction, rage and pain. I love what I do, but sometimes I just really need to come home and lay it all out before Jesus and say, “Oh God. Please help. We need you so much.”

The song in the link above ministers to me because it is about the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I want to just put distance between myself and all of the pain around me, but that seems to harden my heart and keep me far away from Jesus as well.

I am learning that worship, as well as prayer, is a way of surrendering all of the burdens that we carry, all of our hopes and dreams for others and for ourselves, so we can rest and wear His yoke.

Is there a psychiatric facility in your area? A half way house? An addiction facility? Instead of speeding up as you drive by, lift them up in prayer. And worship the God who is pre-eminent above all and able to help.


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