“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42, NIV 1984).
A Christian ophthalmologist shared this story with our local CMDA by email last week:
Tom and I were having breakfast at the Cupboard restaurant on Union when a woman approached and asked if I was Dr. Schanzer. She explained that I had done her cataract surgery and up until that time she had been an atheist. She explained that she had praised me for her sight. My reply had been, "God is a great healer and we should give Him the glory and praise." That had infuriated her---she knew that I had done the surgery and not God!! But my words kept eating at her until she began to investigate and ultimately joined a church and became a believer. Isn't God great? While I understand that we are to plant and He will harvest, it's nice to know that one was harvested!
I would not know about faith flags if it weren't for the Saline Solution and CMDA. For that, I thank you.
It’s so simple. Open our mouths and let God’s Spirit speak, just like my friend Cathy. Open our mouths and let God do the work of transforming broken lives, the work of bringing His lost children home…so simple and yet for me, so infrequent.
Faith flags are but fingers pointing toward the Creator---words or short sentences of honest expression that let our patients know to whom we give the credit for healing or for intervention in our personal times of need. Just like with Dr. Schanzer above, faith flags are a natural consequence of conversation with our patients. Their infrequency in my practice is not because such words are lies or because they are inappropriate. I raise faith flags so infrequently because I am either too busy to consider the truth of life or because I am afraid to let that truth confront my patients. What if they get angry, like the woman above? Praise God for this woman’s anger because that anger seared Cathy’s comments into her heart so that she could not escape them until God had finished His work.
If I am too busy for faith flags, let me change. As Walt Larimore and Bill Peel teach us in the Saline Solution, let me change the pattern of my practice to add 10 seconds at the door to each exam room and ask myself, “What is God doing (WIGD) in my divine encounter with this patient?”
If I am afraid, let me get over it. There is a reason God made me a Christian doctor and it is not only to help my patients with their brokenness for a short time this side of glory.
Remind me of eternity with each patient I see. And give me the courage to let you speak.