I have often joked that people who minister within the special needs population are the only pastors in the world who carry rubber gloves in our pockets.  In addition, each Special Gathering has a biohazard kit that we are to have with us during each program.  The kit basically contains the supplies needed to clean up and dispose of bodily fluids that may be harmful to others.  Along with the kit, we received training on the proper way to handle the supplies contained in the kit.

A rather boring teaching video contained the bulk of our training.  I have to admit that the first time the teaching film was shown, I slept through it.  However, about six months later, I closely reviewed it.  Within a few weeks, I was extremely glad that I had stayed awake during the second viewing of the film because I needed to apply everything that was contained in the video. 

Since that time, I’ve had several occasions to use the information but I never thought that I would need it in my own home.  However, a couple of days ago, my husband’s doctor prescribed nitroglycerin cream to help stimulate the blood vessels in his feet.  I was given precious little training by the doctor, none from the nurses and a sheet of paper with the medication telling me how dangerous it was but no information on how to prepare my home for this toxic cream.

The doctor did tell me that if the cream was used improperly, it could cause a drastic drop in my husband’s blood pressure and he could die.  Because I was the person administering and handling the cream, I was as much–if not more–at risk as my spouse. 

My biohazard training kicked in immediately.  Yes, my training helped me to understand the potential side effects and the dangers.  But more importantly, it took all fear away. I understand how to handle even more dangerous materials than a simple cream that increases blood flow but, if abused, can cause cardiac arrest.  I got out my rubber gloves, my extra sturdy plastic bags.  I reread and followed the directions exactly.

Preparing for potential danger is not only prudent for people who minister to the special needs population, it also could save a life. And that life could be yours.  God desires that we be wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove.  In the case of people who minister within the mentally challenged population, wisdom may include biohazardous training.