Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Vicki's Story, Part Seven

Click here to read Part One
Click here to read Part Two
Click here to read Part Three
Click here to read Part Four
Click here to read Part Five
Click here to read Part Six

Part Seven

There I was again, sitting on that uncomfortable wooden chair in the surgeon’s downtown office. He was kneading my face like he was about to make a pie crust out of it. His left hand bracing my forehead, his eyes squinted, his tongue to his nose…pushing, prodding, poking, pulling.

My heart was beating. Surely, those scars were bound to be hard as rocks, as unfaithful as I was at rubbing the steroid cream into it over the past month.

His eyebrow raised.

My heart skipped a beat. It was coming – the lecture. He’s going to know…I’m dead meat! He’s going to know I didn’t use the cream. Oh why, why, why didn’t I just take five minutes a night and use the cream?! Now I was going to get a lecture from the stern doctor and a couple of needles in my nose.

His hand dropped from my forehead and he just glared at me – his eyes squinting. He just looked at me, his eyes boring more holes into my head than his scalpel had. I gulped and looked shyly at my lap. He breathed deeply through his nose and looked sternly at my mother. She smiled sweetly, not at all betraying the tearful confession she had heard from me on the car ride over to the office.

Mrs. Anderson…” the doctor said sternly, “What exactly have you done here?”

I…well…” mom was perplexed.

I felt bad…why should mom be blamed for my disobedience?

I have never seen anything like this in all my years of medical practice!” he grunted.

Wow, as if I didn’t feel lousy enough! Now he’s gotta rub it in by making me the worst patient in medical history. Why didn’t I just use that blasted cream like I was supposed to!

The doctor got up without another word and left the office.

I looked at mom with wide eyes. Neither said a word, we both knew what was coming. I tried not to let the mental picture solidify – the stern doctor returning to the office with a Western gunslinger’s holster strapped around his white lab coat – two shiny hypodermic needles the size of shotguns hanging from each holster.

I could hear the doctor’s footsteps coming back towards the door. My heart nearly stopped. I took a deep breath and looked down at my lap. The knob twisted, “Oh God please…help me…help me…” I prayed – my mind screaming.

The doctor entered the room, with his nurse in tow. I looked all over, trying to see where he’d hid the shots.

Look at this, Sally!” He said, pointing towards me as if I was standing in a fugitive lineup.

I was humiliated – not content to chew me out privately, he needed an audience to witness my fear and humiliation.

The nurse touched my nose, and then again. “Oh my…” she gasped, looking to the doctor.

“Mrs. Anderson,” the doctor continued, “I have never felt scars this soft in all my years of medical practice. What exactly did you do?”

My mind went blank. It was a surreal moment. I had experienced miracles before – God being merciful to me in impossible situations, but this time was a time I deserved no mercy. I had not done what I was told. I should have faced the consequences of neglecting the steroid cream. I blatantly didn’t use it, and God, for some unknown reason to me, still chose to flood me with mercy and rescue me from the needles.

I never had to have the shots. Even though every patient prior to me had to have them in order to proceed with the surgeries, I did not. God softened those scars. Somehow, the very healing hand of the Great Physician had stretched down to earth and touched my nose and softened those scars beyond what was humanely possible.

God proved himself to me that day and I also learned something about my own nature. I had always thought before that God delivered me because I deserved it. In this situation, I knew I didn’t deserve his mercy, but he saved me anyway. Sort of the same way he deals with our sin – we don’t deserve his mercy, but he saves us anyway. It’s not about our merit, it is about his faithfulness and his glory.

I had managed to dodge the needles in the face…but only for a time. There was to be another appointment – a visit to the ophthalmologist where I would not be so lucky…



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