will he be Nurse Ratched AGAIN?

Caution God at Work

That was the question my wife was struggling with as she prepared for some foot surgery on December 30th that would limit her mobility and activity for 3 or 4 weeks.

“Will Bernie be Nurse Ratched AGAIN?”

You remember who Nurse Ratched is, don’t you?  Here are a few refreshers from Wikipedia …

“Nurse Ratched is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Ken Kesey’s’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as well as the 1975 film … Nurse Ratched is the (fictitious) head administrative nurse at the Salem, Oregon State Hospital, a mental institution where she exercises near-absolute power over the patients’ access to medications, privileges, and basic necessities such as food and toiletries. She capriciously revokes these privileges whenever a patient displeases her … Louise Fletcher won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Nurse Ratched in the film. Nurse Ratched was named the fifth-greatest villain in film history (and second-greatest villainess, behind only the Wicked Witch of the West) by the American Film Institute in their series 100 Years.”

I recently read an interview with Louise Fletcher and she confessed she could no longer watch the movie because of how mean the character she portrayed comes across in the movie …

I’d like to say I really never did anything to earn such a comparison and nickname … but alas that would be a lie.  In our nearly 33 years of being together, both my wife and the children would dread her surgeries and illnesses because … in that moment, before their very eyes, mild-mannered Bernie Webb would transform into the dictatorial Nurse Ratched … all out of love, of course …

No, I was not a very compassionate and loving caregiver …

But …

Nearly three weeks into her recovery, my wife has been absolutely amazed that Nurse Cratched has never made an appearance.  Now I could claim credit for trying extra hard to keep the demon nurse contained … but that would also just be one more lie.

Consider this truth from Scripture …

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of ALL comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  2 Corinthians1:3-5 (ESV)

I recently encountered these words in a devotional:  “Once we have – by God’s grace – gone through a dark time, God calls us to offer comfort to the hurting people He puts in our path.  Often that comfort is our mere presence, not “right” words.  Our willingness to share the kind of comfort we have received reflects both our knowledge of our good God and our faith in Him … Yes, our Redeemer-God is at work when He uses the comforted to comfort others!”

While no doubt for many people, there are no good aspects of having cancer and/or going through chemotherapy.  And while I have definitely had some difficult times in the midst of my cancer journey, I have indeed sensed God transforming me from within throughout.  This is just another example of the many transformations I have experienced.

Yes, I was a Nurse Ratched.

But God has comforted me from day 1 of my cancer affliction … so … SO … that I might be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.  Not with my comfort … that would probably mean a reappearance by Nurse Ratched.  But with the very exact same comfort I myself received from God.  WOW! WOW! WOW!

And if you were to ask my wife, she would tell you that over the last three weeks she has indeed received the comfort of God.  ALL GLORY, PRAISE and HONOR TO HIM!!!

And that my friends, is just one more transformational lesson God’s abiding presence has done IN me in the midst of cancer … another blessing of cancer for which I give thanks.

You know, I really should walk around with a sandwich board with the following message …


And this is one construction project I am so thankful for …



About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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