Ezer-ing

I’ve been rereading “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge. The first time I read it, I must have not had open ears, open eyes, or an open heart. I remember thinking it was a really good book, but it didn’t sink in. I didn’t contemplate its words. I don’t recall phrases lingering throughout my day after reading just a few pages in the early morning, my eyes barely open.

Basically, nothing changed.

And after reading it this time around, I suppose that’s exactly what The One Who Is Against Us wanted. Spiritual warfare is one of those sticky subjects. Most people, even Christians, really don’t like talking about it. It’s sort of scary. It’s kind of “out there.”

Also, it’s true. Real. I’ve experienced it too many times to blow off the notion.

In “Captivating,” the word “ezer kenegdo” is considered and studied. Historians and linguists all agree that the word is very difficult to translate. The closest translation seems to be “lifesaver.” In the Bible, the word “ezer kenegdo” is only used to describe humans once. The other 19 times, the word describes God.

That one time, the word describes Eve.

Women. Lifesavers? Really?

I’ve begun to believe that God has, indeed, designed me to be a lifesaver for the people I love and even just ordinary people and strangers I encounter every day. If you’re a woman, and you start believing that God’s designed you to use your beauty, grace, compassion, and communication skills–really, all of yourself–to save the lives of others, then things change. You start viewing situations differently. You start asking yourself, “What would you have me to say right now? What does this person need from me right now?” You start seeing through the smoke and mirrors and reading between the lines.

That will be opposed, of course. If The One Who Is Against Us wants to keep us miserable, worrisome, and striving, he will be less than thrilled when he notices God’s love spreading out from us and going viral.

Every day, when I’m talking to patients, I struggle with that opposition. I get tired. I feel distracted by things going on in my own private life. I grow weary of doing good. I get sick of listening to people whine. I lose compassion for addicts and drug seekers.

Yet if I listen, REALLY listen, I’ve noticed that I hear a very quiet question.

“How can you be here now? How are you saving her life?”

On my better days, I’m fully present. I’m focused. I’m full of joy. I offer hope, smiles, hugs, tears. I offer myself. Completely.

These are the best days.

I received a card from a patient the other day after her husband died after battling cancer.

“Thank you so much for being such a loving person. You love hard. I remember your beautiful tears when we were at the office, and I remember your beautiful tears at his funeral. Don’t lose that compassion.”

I won’t. It’s my job. I’m a lifesaver.

 

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