Entering the rural town of Jordan felt a lot like I imagined it would be in Bible times by the Jordan River; or it probably would be by July when winter, finally, came to an end in Montana. I had no difficulty imagining those deep muddy trenches on the unpaved side streets drying up, changing the clumps of mud now being slung out of the four wheel-wells to clouds of dust. Even-so I belted out the praise song filling the inside of my car—thanks to the eight-track cassette player (a contraption unknown to anyone born after 1980).
I entered town by way of a paved highway that also served as the main street through town. Easing into a parking spot in front of the hospital, I dropped my head and asked God to help me; I felt like a fish out of water—not to mention the steep learning curve I’d soon begin trekking.
After the “Amen,” I felt my spirit soar. My hands still shook a bit with the nervousness of my youth facing such a challenge, but my joy was complete. I knew God would help me learn what I needed to know, if I committed to put in the hours. God had given me a second chance and nothing else mattered. I wouldn’t let Him down.
With all of that energetic bravado spewing out of my trembling lips, I left the Chrysler. With a deep breath in and out, I began climbing the front steps of the hospital. About half a step through the door, I heard an enthusiastic voice calling my name.
“You’re here! Come in; come in!” It was the bookkeeper.
“Yes, uh, I’m not sure where I should go.” I laughed to hide my fear.
“Well, let’s go downstairs to the dining room and I’ll get you a cup of coffee.” She turned on her heels and spoke as she clipped down the hallway.
“Okay, thanks,” I said to the air.
Once seated, the dear lady left me sipping the coffee. I assumed she’d be fetching someone to orient me or something.
“Hello, I’m the Director of Nursing. We met after your interview.”
“Yes, hello.” I sounded stronger to my own ears. It helped to have a face I’d seen once before.
“I’m really glad you made it; it’s a long drive. And, just in time, too. We’re in a bit of a frenzy right now.”
Okay, the fear returned. Did she think I might provide some stability to the situation? Oh no.
“You see,” she continued, “the health inspectors showed up. They left us with twenty-six pages of deficiencies found in our hospital. They said they all had to be corrected before their return inspection.”
“Oh, really. And, uh, when is that exactly?” So far, I trembled only on the inside.
“Two weeks. So, you’ve got two weeks to try to correct things.
“Is that possible?”
“Well, most of the infractions are in the administrative area. You know, written job descriptions, policy and procedure manuals and such. I have a book here that should help you.” The dear lady thumped a textbook-sized volume and smiled.
I left the hospital soon after to get my personal effects moved into the garden-level of a duplex.
In truth, the nurse’s words rang in my thoughts the entire time I carted boxes and bags into the apartment. How in the world would I be able to help this hospital keep their doors open? I didn’t know, but if God had opened this door to take me out of the horrible slide I had been living, God surely would help me succeed. I just needed to put in the work and He’d direct my path.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not to your own understanding and God will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)