I made it to my friend Jessie’s Christmas party minutes before midnight… just as everyone was leaving her house. Just my luck. Too late. I’d spent my entire night stuck at the hospital where I worked as a nurse. All thanks to a little voice inside me. “Take Candy’s shift,” it had said. Over and over again.
Candy was a new nurse on staff, a single mom. She’d asked me to cover for her on Christmas Eve so she could spend the time with her little girl. I felt bad for Candy, I really did. But every Christmas Eve, I went to Jessie’s house. Her party was the highlight of my holiday season. There was a gift exchange, carols and sugar cookies as far as the eye could see. I told Candy I couldn’t help her out. Afterwards, though, that little voice nagged me until I gave in.
I figured God had some special reason for me to be at the hospital that evening. As it turned out, he didn’t. It was the worst night ever. Two Code Blues, no free ICU beds and disgruntled patients. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of stopping by Jessie’s after my shift. I’d never stayed at her parties past 10 o’clock, but maybe there’d be some sugar cookies and a few carols left to sing by the time I got there.
Instead, people were getting back into their cars. Why did I even bother coming this late?
Suddenly, a scream pierced the night. “Help!”
I looked up. Jessie’s elderly next-door neighbor was standing on his porch, waving his arms. “Help!” he yelled. “My wife’s dying! I need a doctor!”
I rushed to him. “I’m a nurse,” I said. “What’s going on?”
He led me inside. His wife was lying unresponsive on their living room floor, cold and clammy to the touch. I recognized the problem at once. Insulin shock.
“She has this medicine, but I have no clue how to use it,” her husband said, holding up an injection.
I crouched down beside the woman and administered the medicine. Within minutes, her color returned, and her skin became warm and dry. The ambulance arrived just after the clock struck twelve. Christmas morning.
I finally made it over to Jessie’s and explained what happened. “Good thing you were here so late!” she said. “Here, you deserve a cookie.”