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A Compassion Above and Beyond

Whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy…—EXODUS 30:29 (KJV)

It was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early ’80s. I was performing a sterile procedure on my patient Bryan’s chest catheter, through which he received nutrition. Because Bryan had AIDS, I couldn’t take a chance that he would get an infection, nor could I risk contaminating my own hands, so I put on gloves.

As a registered nurse, I prided myself on being competent and cautious with everything. But after I finished with Bryan, I sensed an inner nudge, urging me to remove my gloves and reach for Bryan’s hand.

His hand was cool to the touch as I gave it a squeeze. I looked into his eyes, so tired from all of his treatments. “Cold hands, warm heart,” I said.

Brian gave me an enormous smile. “That’s what I’ve always heard,” he said. “But you know what really gave me a warm heart? You touched me. Do you know how long it’s been since anyone has touched me?”

Help us extend your compassionate touch to those in our care, dear Lord.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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