I remember talking to a Benedictine College nursing student who had spent time with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta — and almost decided to change majors because of it. She wore herself out bathing, bandaging and tending to the needs of patients as they were having some of the worst moments of their lives, and it began to dawn on her what a very tough life lay ahead of her as a nurse.
A fellow volunteer noticed her flagging enthusiasm, and told her a story. Mother Teresa once asked him to bathe a badly disfigured patient, he said. He was reluctant, and stand-offish. But then a strange thing happened. Before his very eyes, the patient disappeared and Christ was there. For a moment he was very literally bathing the body of Jesus Christ. His whole demeanor and energy changed as he continued the job. Mother Teresa noticed the transformation. “Ah!” she said. “You saw Him, didn’t you?”
That story changed the student’s life — and many others, through her, I’m sure. She’s now a cardiac care nurse. She recently tweeted, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment …”
That is exactly what Ebola nurses are doing right now.
Tom Hoopesis writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.