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Good Morning Doctor! - Chapter 34

The Great Physician

Since he is present at so many of life's great crises, a doctor more often than not finds himself in a situation where the presence of the Almighty is keenly felt. Yet few times in my experience have I ever been more conscious of that than I was once years ago as I ministered to the needs of a very old lady.

I had taken care of her at various times over a period of years but in the last weeks of her life, when she became bedfast, I saw her daily since it was necessary that I administer hypodermics to make sure of her rest and comfort at night. For a number of weeks, before I retired, I would call on her. One evening when I went to see her she asked me to sit down.

"I have a very special message for you, Doctor," she said, as she laid her thin hand on my arm. Tears came to her eyes, yet she smiled. "You have been so good to me, so very good, and I want you to know that I have appreciated it. In these last weeks, while I have been lying here, I have thought of you often, of the times you have come here, and the way you have stayed to cheer me even though I knew you didn't have the time to give. I know some nights you have been so tired you could hardly move, yet you have to come to help me, to give me that medicine so that I could sleep. You have done everything you could for me; you have done all that any doctor could."

She hesitated, then went on softly, almost apologetically, "But I am afraid that only the Great Physician can really help me. So don't feel badly when I go. I may go tonight. If I do, you will know that I shall be happy. You must be happy, too. You have done what you could."

Without another word we parted. The next morning I was called to her home. As I entered her home this couplet ran through my mind: "Tread softly, doctor, as you enter now. Someone has been here greater than thou."

  Version: World Wide Web Edition Copyright 1995 by Richard Rathe
  Created: October 1, 1995   Modified: July 5, 1999

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