To the Rescue –
Today I completed my bi-annual training and testing for CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) for a person who has stopped breathing and Abdominal thrusts (also called the “Heimlich maneuver”) which is a first aid procedure used to treat upper airway obstructions (choking) by foreign objects. The training was good and the test wasn’t a problem but the thought of being the one someone was counting on to save their life still is unsettling.
I never considered being a police officer, fireman, doctor, nurse, soldier. These are folks who put their life on the line every day and/or have someone’s life in their hands. There’s a courage and confidence in them I don’t think I have to be able to do these vocations faithfully. I admire and support those who are able to step up and do these jobs so admirably.
However, there may be a time when I am put in the position of being the one who saves. I can only hope that the investment of time and attention in the course today allows me to perform competently until the professionals arrive.
After finishing the course today I also reflected on what it means to “save someone.” It’s not always stopped breathing, hearts not beating, throats choking or other physical emergencies. Sometimes it’s an open ear, kind word or selfless act.
There are people in our lives, those we encounter who need what we can give, we just need the eyes to see them. I wonder if there is a course for that…..?
Dashed Hopes –
One of the incarcerated fathers I work with was told recently by the parole board that it would be at least another 12 months before he would be eligible again. The board didn’t think he was to the point where he was ready to be released. He was crushed by this revelation. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up,’ he said, ‘but they were raised anyway. Now I’m just down and lost.” We spoke for a while about making good choices while he was still incarcerated, using the time wisely by taking other classes the jail offers, hanging around the right people and not giving up. He agreed but I could tell he was coming to grips with dashed hopes.
Hope is a wonderful thing but it can also be devastating when what you desire, long for, remains elusive, out of reach. Hope can help us through the most trying of circumstances and drag out difficult and challenging seasons. Hope can be the driving force behind our survival but it is also the reason we burn ourselves up and out. Trying to figure out when to keep hoping and when to give up hope seems impossible to know. Perhaps giving up hope is not the solution but rather learning where to place our hope is true wisdom.