Phlebotomic is a blog experiment that seeks to gather multiple perspectives around a common prompt, which is provided weekly.

Last week's prompt was "Beauty"...

This week's prompt is "Path"...

15 January 2009

Blue: Code Blue..."There is an eternal perspective that must be considered."

We have various “codes” at the hospital…
Code Red: Smoke or Fire. We shut all the doors and hope it’s nothing serious. Like a patient trying to smoke in his room and catching the alcohol dispenser on fire.
Code Grey: Verbal Assault. Like a 70 year old lady with dementia and a broken leg yelling at me and trying to leave because she thinks we kidnapped her.
Code Purple: Missing Patient. Like my patient who came to the hospital in respiratory distress because he spent his asthma medication money on cocaine. He had to have a tracheotomy to breath. He leaves the floor with his trach tube still in and hours later still hadn’t come back (he finally did the next day).

And then there is the one that makes us all stop for a second, hope it was an accident and that it will quickly be canceled…
Code Blue: Cardiac or Respiratory Arrest. Someone either doesn’t have a pulse or isn’t breathing. A whole team of doctors, residents, nurses, respiratory therapists and clinical assistants quickly come to fight for a life. It’s sobering. It brings perspective. And fortunately, quite often, pulse and breath begin again; they are revived…even brought back to life.

In my short almost three years as a nurse, I’ve learned how the line between life and death cannot be identified, explained or even assumed. I mean this for both physical and spiritual life.

I thankfully have not had a patient pass away in a “code.” But I have had patients on “palliative care,” or comfort care as they pass away. In this case, no code is called. We give pain medicine and comfort the family as their loved one’s breathing becomes sporadic and infrequent. When does death actually occur? We “call it” when there is no heart beat or breath sounds. But, just because a heart is beating does that constitute life? What about their soul? This makes me queenly aware of the spiritual world, of eternity and that this life is so very temporal.

My best friend’s grandmother died earlier this week. Which led to this somber entry. Three Code Blues were called that same day, hence the connection. I’ve been through this myself so I had a little insight, but I couldn’t be there with her. I cried with her over the phone, prayed for her (starting 4 that morning when I woke up thinking about her), and wished I could bear some of this pain for her. The next day I talked to her and was amazed (as I often am) of her great faith and trust in the sovereignty of the Lord. She’s relatively okay and says, “I think there is an eternal perspective that must be considered. I know where she is, and I know I’ll see her again.” I’m comforted that she is at peace and think of how much more I should consider the same perspective…

The apostle Paul spoke of this… “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1&2) Why? So “We do not lose heart…For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” ( 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

And I think too of life? I don’t think it‘s necessarily the presence of a heart beat, but a ordained creation with purpose and abundance. (Psalm 139, John 10:10)

But being born also doesn’t make us truly alive. For death has come to all men by way of sin. (Romans 3:23; 5:12)

So here’s my point….
Life isn’t as we may first perceive it… Beginning with conception and ending with death. True, abundant, purposeful and forgiven life begins with a new birth (John 3,Romans 6:4). Life…from faith in the salvation of Jesus’ righteousness given to us through His sacrificial death and resurrection (Ephesians 2:1-5; Romans 3:22-25). A life that continues for eternity; even after pulse and breath cease. For those who believe this, if we considered an eternal perspective more often, would we, and shouldn’t we be more like a “Code Blue” team for those still dead in sin and darkness?


  1. Great post! Thx. It reminds us all that there is a time appointed for us. RG Lee preached, "Pay day. Some day."