As we in the Pregnancy Help Community continue to grow and expand our services, sharpening our marketing and our standards for patient care, words such as “excellence” and “best practices” gain traction.
And they should. We want to be the best at what we do. Let it never be said that we would give those who oppose us any possible reason to criticize our efforts. The abortion lobby uses so many obfuscations to attack us; we don’t need to help them out.
However, as we aspire to strengthen our delivery of services and build our standing in the communities we serve, let’s never forget that one of our highest callings is that of, “Friend.”
Why? Because when all of the paperwork is completed with a client, when she walks out our door and heads home, what will she remember most about us?
Will she remember the expert analysis of what she sees on the ultrasound screen? Possibly. Will she remember how we completed our forms with professionalism? She might. Will she remember how we treated her with the respect every patient deserves? I believe so.
But most of all, she will remember whether we cared. In some form or fashion, she will ask, “Were these people friends I could trust?”
To make the point, stick with me through a story or two. The first is about my grandmother. She died Christmas Day 1989 at the age of 88, of pneumonia, during a visit with my mother and our entire family. She woke up Christmas morning feeling sick; we took her to the local emergency room where she fell asleep later in the day and left us peacefully.
I can’t remember every person in the hospital who served her. But I do remember something else. That very evening my mother also became ill and I took her back to the same emergency room. It was particularly difficult for her, knowing she had said goodbye to her mother a couple of hours earlier, just down the hall.
A physician came in to treat my mother and mentioned that he heard what happened earlier in the day. He spent extra time with my mom, then prayed with her as he treated her. She was much better in an hour, but what I remember most is that he treated her as a friend, not just as a patient.
Another quick story? I’ve told this one in another context before in this column; of a nurse in the neonatal ICU treating my son Josh just after he was born. He needed a few days in the NICU to get past a particular situation and was treated by many excellent professionals at the hospital.
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But one nurse took the time to ask me about my profession and to tell me her story of being born as a result of a crisis pregnancy. Her mom had every worldly reason to abort her; carrying her to term would end her dream of becoming Miss America; she was preparing to represent her state in Atlantic City when she found out she was pregnant.
This nurse treated my son—and so many struggling much more than he—with the best of care. What I remember best however, is her treatment of me as friend, letting me on her life story as a source of encouragement I carry today.
Friends, this is what we do. Every. Day.
Whether we are in administration, at the receptionist desk, in the medical wing, serving as a client advocate or folding baby clothes every other Thursday, one of our greatest missions is to reach out to those who come in our door as we would our friends.
Jesus had a word or two to say about friendship. Many of his words are on my mind this week as we remember Jesus’ sacrifice, and the world-shaking moment when God raised him from the dead.
“You are my friends, if you do what I command you,” Jesus said, in the context of talking about love.
Friends love; it’s an action we take that is sacrificial, intentional and others-focused.
When we reach out to our clients and patients as we would a friend, we rise above rhetoric, we soar beyond the fears they face.
This is why we are different. This is why so many who come in our door go on to refer their friends to us. This is why we thrive.
“Friend.” It is a foundation for all we do.