Tuesday, August 18, 2009


A secular opinion would tell you that he shouldn’t be here. Physicians relying on
science alone would scratch their heads in puzzlement, wondering how he circumvented the circumstances that should have produced a premature death.

It happened in a matter of seconds. One moment he was removing a central line from under the AIDS patient’s collarbone, the next moment that same line would puncture the hand of the young physician. In shock and disbelief, this first year intern watched as the infected blood mixed with that of his own. He raced to a nearby sink and began frantically scrubbing his hands under water, knowing that it was pointless, but somehow hoping that his lifelong dream of practicing medicine wasn’t swirling down the drain like that of the soiled water.

That day, there were immediate consultations with his attending physicians. Hospital administrators were summoned, a drug therapy plan put into place. Only the passing of time would reveal whether or not the stick had rendered the doctor HIV positive, short changing his life as well as providing an end to a career that took years in the making.

Lifestyle choices and drug use, the primary contributing factors to those that contract the disease, were behaviors that represented a stark contrast to that of the young physician. His life could end early through no fault of his own, despite a lifelong commitment to his faith, his church, his family and others.

It seemed unfair. One could almost expect, and certainly understand, the seed of bitterness that had potential to take root in his heart, growing steadily as conditions worsened, intertwining with and finally suffocating any remaining benevolence. It would be a justified reaction, provoking the outrage and indignation of others at the undeserved diagnosis, allowing misery to find it’s company for temporary relief.

But steadfastly, the doctor found his comfort in the only One who could relate. He held fast to the One who understood the unfairness of suffering at the hands of others, the injustice of life ending at no fault of His own, the inequity of shame manufactured by the crowd but transferred solely onto His shoulders.

Three months later, as the syringe extracted blood from his veins for the findings that would direct the next steps, the physician held onto Jesus.

Six months later, as the lab technician handed over a print out of the results that would determine his fate, the physician held onto Jesus.

And one year later, as a fellow colleague sat in the chair across from him, chart in hand, with information that would finally procure a future, still the physician held onto Jesus.

Every test came back negative. The young physician had escaped infection of the disease.

That was twenty years ago, and irrespective of the numbers of seasons that have passed us by, I still am astonished at the manner in which God used that difficult year to further the faith of the man that would someday be my spouse. His faith would directly influence that of my own, one that was inconsistent and unsteady, but one that would gradually grow to beyond what I thought capable. Our faith together would pave a path for our children, all three of who are accepting of the love of Christ, bringing us a fullness of joy unlike any other.

This ripple effect through my family began with the piercing of One's skin and a needle prick of another, both of which I pray will be felt for generations to come.


JMom said...

Love thid powerful story! To God be the glory.

Becca said...

This is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!!

KBear said...

You two are beautiful both inside and outside...Lord Bless You all...k.

Work In Progress said...

Beautiful...All things truly do work together for the good to them that love the Lord...God is so awesome...Thanks for sharing