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Jo Schaefer

I had thought that this was the first Christmas I would be spending in hospital. But on reflection, it will be my second.

The first was as a mum of a rather sick little girl who we rushed to Royal Children’s Hospital at 5am. We spent the day being looked after by a wonderful number of nurses, doctors and Santas. I was just relieved as I saw the color come back into Laura’s face and her skin lose that yellow pallor and ‘doughiness.’ Not how I had planned to spend Christmas Day!

This year will be different; it will be my first working as a nurse. I work in the respiratory ward at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane.

I’m not really sure how I feel about working on Christmas Day. Some would say that as it is a Holy Day I should not be working. It makes me pose the question, does working on this day mean that I am not spending the day in thanksgiving and celebration for all that Jesus did by coming into my life in new birth? I don’t believe so.

It reminds me of another Holy Day I celebrated in a different way. It was the Sunday after the 9/11 bombing in New York. Instead of being at church as usual on a Sunday, we were at our son’s soccer club end of year BBQ and presentation day. So was our pastor! Shouldn’t we, more to the point shouldn’t he, have been at church on this Sunday encouraging his flock and praying for peace? I don’t believe so.

Here we were, here our pastor was, right in the middle of people, the people who don’t know the eternal peace and joy of being right with their Creator. The saints in church didn’t need the words of peace and encouragement that the people outside the church did!

It seems a strange thing to compare this Christmas Day with that particular Sunday of four years ago, but one word, one life brings them together for me. The word my Lord and Saviour Jesus said to me: Go!

Some of my Christmas Day will be spent with my beautiful family, the rest will be spent being, as my pastor says, ‘Jesus with skin on’ to the patients and their families in the ward where I work. I so love being about his Kingdom business.

May the Lord Jesus bless you this Christmas, and may you take that blessing and Go!

Jo Schaefer is an enrolled nurse at Wesley Hospital in Auchenflower.