A Moment on Rounds
August 17, 2021
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel…” (Romans 1:16, NIV).
I walked into his room with five residents behind me on teaching rounds. We gathered around his bed, and I leaned over to ask of his symptoms. He reached up and touched the cross on my lapel. “I like that,” he said. “I am not depressed. I’m not sad. God is in control.” “I agree with you all the way,” I responded. “Whatever this is, God has you safe in His arms.” The house staff watched in silence.
I look back at the faces of those diverse young men and women who were watching a gray-headed physician lean over a one-legged man and share a conviction that God is in charge, and God is good.
What were they thinking?
“This is something old guys do.
“Doctors shouldn’t be stepping into faith issues.
“I sure hope he doesn’t talk to me about religious stuff.
“Should I report him for showing his faith during rounds?
“Doesn’t he know I’m a Muslim?
“Doesn’t he know I’m agnostic?
“Doesn’t he know I’m a Hindu?
“Does he know I don’t care?
“He can’t possibly be a real scientist.
“So, that’s what compassion looks like.
“Perhaps I need to connect better with my patients.
“Perhaps I need to care more.
“Perhaps I need to consider God’s place in medicine.
“Perhaps I need to consider God’s place in my life.”
It really doesn’t matter whether I understood the thoughts of those around me when I confirmed my faith with this suffering man. It’s really not important to consider personal consequences that might come from my openness. Frankly, I didn’t think about it at the time. That was all God’s business. I was swept into it because a patient saw a cross on my lapel, and I was authentic with my response.
God may choose to take this very minor moment and sweep it into oblivion. Or God may take this minor moment and sweep a lost one into His arms. The outcome is all God’s business. My business was to show up, be recognized and be authentic.
Let me not orchestrate Your moments and let me not stand in Your way.