Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Handoff

If only for this life we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. I Cor 15: 19

Josie has been my patient for many years. Her brother called me yesterday. “I think we are going to lose her in the next few days.”

“I’m so sorry, Randy. You certainly have done everything you could for her as a brother.”

And I had done all I could for her as a doctor over years of steadily progressive illness. I love Josie, but I mostly feel relief at the end of her suffering and, to be honest, at the hours of work that her illness near the end of life has brought me.

As I prayed for her this morning, I handed her off to Jesus. And then I realized that I had done very little to hand her off to Jesus.

Do we really believe what we profess?

Do we know that each of our patients will settle in the arms of Jesus when they die, or meet a dark eternity?

Do we love our patients?

If we believe what we profess, do we care what happens to our patients on the other side of death?

Are we afraid?

If we believe what we profess and care for the patients we love, does the fear of rejection, or the fear of seeming foolish, or the fear that our own hope is just an illusion keep us from introducing our patients to the only hope that lasts forever?

Are we just too busy?

I don’t know whether it is a failure of belief, or a failure of love, or fear or just busyness; but I realized today that I have hoped Josie toward heaven more than I have helped hand her to Jesus.

Dear God,
Change me. For the sake of the patients I love.

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