Entry 4: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep!
Updated: May 13
It was an early morning sun raise code blue page to the Operating Room (OR). Raising quickly from a night of lightly sleeping in the on-call room, I called the extension on the pager. The OR admin, asked if I could come quickly, the patient had coded several times on the table. I stated, “I’m on my way!” I headed to the private secured OR elevator to get down to the OR, but my ID didn’t work. I got a bit panicked and started looking for a hospital phone to have security admit me, but then I saw a nurse and I asked, "could you let me into the OR elevator, it’s a code blue." She did it instantly, because she was also heading there too. As a hospital norm, when there is a code blue, hospital doctor’s, nurse’s, chaplain’s and security are required to report on site, we’re a code blue team. It’s not uncommon to have at least a team of 12 people present to save a life if at all possible.
I reached the admin desk of the OR, and the staff member said, “OR 1.” I asked for the patient details. He said, “an African American male in his early 40’s who had already coded three times on the operating table.” I’m listening to him as he's giving me the details as I’m walking towards the OR door that he was pointing too. Once I arrived at the door, I looked in and saw, that there were at least six to seven individuals around the operating table working on him, with one doctor, straddled across the patient’s body giving him manual CPR compression's while the paddles were recharging, again. Blood was everywhere, the monitor readings were flat. I moved slightly to allow a nurse to enter the OR room. As the door opened, one of the doctor’s asked who I was. The nurse said, “the chaplain.” The doctor screamed dress her! Three individuals including the OR admin with scrubs in hand, ran to me to get me surgically dressed to enter the OR. This was terrifying to me to witness and to be a part of. While they are slipping on my OR scrubs, I am now pondering and asking the Lord, what to pray at that very moment.
What I was witnessing was so unbelievable, that I didn’t feel qualified to pray over this. There was so much commotion in seconds I needed to enter the OR to pray for this patient. I expressed to the Lord in my thoughts, “I’m not qualified to pray for this,” basically, I was scared. But then it happened, it was if I was out of my body in slow motion, and the sounds around me quieted. The Lord’s response to me was, “precious all you need is, now I lay me down to sleep.” Then immediately everything returned to the normal noisy pace. I put my hand on the door to push it open and said a quick, simple prayer as I was walking through the door with my hand still on the door. I prayed, “Lord, if he doesn’t know you, bring him back!” I didn’t shout it, I just said it in a calm tone, because the Lord had calmed me in the midst of the situation. What happened next was the miracle, I saw his chest move 1st, and then I saw the monitor registering a heartbeat. The doctor said, “he’s back,” and all of them backed away from the table, including myself. I never made it fully to the table to pray a more eloquent mature prayer. All I could do was thank the Lord as I walked out of the OR! Everyone was high fiving each other with smiles and also telling me thank you for coming. It was a joyous moment for everyone. Once the patient was ready to be transferred to the ICU, I returned to the chaplain office to first log the code blue and then I returned to the on-call room to prepare to closeout and pack up from my over-night in such awe and joy. What a privileged sight to behold, Him and His majestic handiwork.
First and foremost, I was privileged to witness and be a part of a raised from the dead miracle. And second, the Lord used a child’s prayer to calm me down and instruct me at the same time because I felt so inadequate in that moment in spite of having over 4 years of chaplaincy under my belt at that time. See the following prayer:
A Child's Bedtime Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.
Addison, J. (1711). Retrieved Beliefnet.com (4/26/2020). “The Spectator,” from https://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/other/bedtime/a-childs-bedtime-prayer.aspx
That little prayer ran through my head to guide me to say, “Lord, if he doesn’t know you, bring him back!” I can’t even remember if I said in Jesus precious name or not. Because, I think I was speechless when I saw his chest move, so I froze for a few seconds. What I learned was that you don’t have to be an eloquent theologian to pray. You just have to have a sincere heart and love for souls and God will do the rest. Even thought this was an emergency, He taught me and He calmed me down in the midst of a very serious intense situation. It wasn’t about me being qualified or not. It was about being willing to be set aside to answer the call for His use and His Glory! I left the OR when the patient was ready to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There’s more to this story, but you will have to stay tuned, because the rest of the story will be included along with other miracle stories in an entire chapter dedicated to “Raised from the Dead!” Real life witnessed miracle account stories during my hospital chaplaincy clinical training journey in, “The Diary of a Hospital Chaplain.”
For those of you who struggle with one’s prayer life, not feeling adequate about knowing what to pray. Here’s the key, pray to PRAY! Ask God what you should pray with sincerity from a pure heart. He will take it from there and use your innocent, childlike faith and prayers to move mountains. Remember mature spiritual wisdom is knowing that one should follow the leading of the Father and His WORD, the bible states we should always come before the Lord as a humble child.
"But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to
come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,"(Matthew 19: 14, KJV).
Here a sneak preview: Servant size, Me! Until next time,
For the sake of the Chaplain’s healing Call!
Chaplain Jacqueline M. Pressey
"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with
becoming Extraordinary through pursuing Excellence!"