Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ebeneezer and Denise

This time of year my husband and I have a stack of Christmas movies we would love to watch, but life never affords the time for that.  Maybe, if we are fortunate, we can manage to watch one or two of them.  When we are trying to decide which one to watch first it never fails we both choose the same one -- A Christmas Carol.


361/365 - christmas carol
 (Photo credit: jypsygen)
But we are very particular about the version we want to see, we love the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooze.  Alastair Sim was able to portray both the mean spirited harshness of the unrepentant Scrooze perfectly as well as he did the joyous and generous redeemed Scrooze.

One of my favorite scenes comes at the end of the movie.  Ebeneezer, with a heart that has opened up to the Christ-child of Christmas, sits at his desk waiting for his clerk Bob Cratchit to come in for the morning.  He plans to pretend to be angry but is going to raise his salary and offer to help him raise his family as well.  He is giddy with delightful anticipation.

I once had the same exact feeling.

The hospital were I worked had a department for childbirth education and community marketing and my friend Denise was the Department Head. She was a nurse as well as a lactation consultant and had always wanted to work in Labor & Delivery although she had never had the opportunity to do so.  I worked in this department with Denise for a year until the hospital downsized and I returned to my job in Labor & Delivery.

Shortly after I returned to L&D, I became the Assistant Nurse Manager of the unit.  Within a few months, we had a job opening and knowing that Denise was looking for a clinical position, I suggested her to my Nurse Manager.  My manager loved the idea and wanted us to offer Denise the position.  I asked Anne if she would let me make the offer to Denise, and Anne graciously agreed.

I was almost skipping as I walked down the hall and across the crosswalk to Denise's office.  I had to work hard to keep myself from giggling.  I knew that I was about to bring unbelievable pleasure and joy not only to Denise, but also to all those who would be blessed by her care.  Having worked with her for years, I knew that our nurses would find working with Denise a great blessing as well.

I had to wait a few minutes until she was free, but then I sat on the familiar love seat across from her desk.  I can't even remember how I brought it up, or what I said, but I will never forget the look on her face.

She cried.  I cried.  It was a dream come true for her and I was so thrilled to have been given the gift by my manager to be the one to make the offer to her.

Denise came to work with us, and to show you her incredible impact, the next year, from a unit of twenty nurses, she received fourteen nominations for nurse of the year.  She went on to receive the Nurse of the Year award from the hospital.

Of all the wonderful moments I have shared with Denise through the years, this one will always stand out.  The joy, the absolute giddiness I felt in walking over to office was amazing.  The knowledge of how what I was about to do was going to impact her affected me tremendously.

This is our Lord's response to us.  It is His great joy and desire in doing things for us.  I was joyful about Denise because I knew her, I loved her, I knew what her response would be.  How much more does our Heavenly Father know us?  How much more does He love us?  We cannot imagine the joy He feels to be involved in our lives, to meet our needs, to be a part of us.

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Luke 12:32


Here is a youtube video of my favorite portion of "A Christmas Carol":

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Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer before she came to work with us in Labor & Delivery. She battled cancer her entire time in Labor & Delivery and even through all her chemo and radiation, she was an incredible example to all of us. She raised the bar just by being who and what she was. She encouraged us to reach higher, to learn more and to never just settle. We miss her greatly and we encounter patients all the time who tell us of how special she made their birthing experience.  We know this is true because she made our working experience special as well.

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