Sickness and Health

It was a Sunday morning shift, one of my first as an intern. I'd been out a little too late the night before, and hadn't had time to pick up coffee before the train to work. In other words, I was still a little bleary-eyed when I walked into the Emergency room.

And that's when I saw them.

Gracefully moving in long, flowing red satin gowns. They were ministering to the overflow patients lined up in the hallway. Beautiful women, four or five of them, with their hair done up and jewelry sparkling. The contrast between them and the bloodied, disheveled men in the stretchers could not be more striking.

One of the seniors noticed me, transfixed at the entrance.

I tried to address a question to him: "Did we hire... church volunteers... Sundays?"

"Nope," he replied. "Knife fight at a wedding last night. Those are the bridesmaids. The groom's in the trauma room -- hey, do you want to take a look at the best man's chin laceration?"

I considered the scene for another moment and said, "I do."