Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Let's Pretend

For the sake of getting you to think, let’s pretend. Let’s pretend I am a physician. Let’s pretend you have a family member (spouse, child, parent, etc.) who is hasn’t been feeling well lately. To make it even more pretend, put someone’s name in the blank. So anyway, you come to see me and tell me that they are having back pain that is intermittent but at times it is very intense.

Let’s pretend that I press on their abdomen, press on their back, and elicit a few grunts of pain. Let’s pretend that I tell you that I don’t think it is anything serious but just in case, I would like to order a CT scan. Let’s pretend that you take your family member to get the scan and then return to see me a week later.

Let’s pretend I have the results and pull up the scan on a monitor in the exam room. Let’s pretend my trained eye notes something that your untrained eye does not see. Let’s pretend there is a tumor sitting in the middle of one of your family member’s kidney. Let’s pretend that I have noticed that you and your family member are very nice people. Let’s pretend that I don’t want to give you the bad news. Let’s pretend I don’t want to say, “One of your kidneys has a tumor in it and we need to get a biopsy to make sure it is cancer.” Let’s pretend my training has taught me that renal carcinoma is highly treatable in its early stages and with surgery, possibly chemotherapy and radiation, a full recovery can be enjoyed.

Let’s pretend that I think, “I don’t want to tell them the bad news because they are such nice folks.” Let’s pretend that I say, “Your CT looks good, probably just a back strain, and I am going to give you a script for Lortab for pain control.” Let’s pretend that I enjoy the looks of relief on both of your faces.

Let’s pretend that you fill the script for Lortab and your family takes several runs of Lortab since I have given you a refill option for several passes. Let’s pretend six months later, the back pain returns with a vengeance and suddenly frank blood shows up in their urine. Let’s pretend that you jump in the car with your heart in your throat and worry ripping your mind apart. Let’s pretend you get to the ER and the friendly ER physician gives your family member something for pain and then says that he wants to get a CT scan.

Let’s pretend that two hours later, the ER physician returns with a grim look on his face and says, “I am sorry to tell you but it looks like the abdominal cavity is full of tumors that has spread to various organs.” Let’s pretend that he asks, “Have you seen a physician recently?” Let’s pretend that you say back to him, “Yes but it was six months ago and he told us that it was a back strain.” Let’s pretend that you are referred to an oncologist and he informs you that the previous scan six months ago showed the problem and could have been corrected with surgery, chemo, and radiation. Let’s pretend you spend the next six months working with hospice to keep your family member as comfortable as possible.

Let’s pretend that it is just before the holidays in December. Let’s pretend that you are sitting at the graveside and you hear but you don’t hear the words of the ministers. Let’s pretend they read the last passage of Scripture and pray the last prayer over your loved before they are lowered into the ground in that silver casket. Let’s pretend you feel overwhelming grief and sorrow and regret. The grief and sorrow over the loss and the regret that all of it could have been prevented.

Let’s pretend that one year later, you are awarded a five-million dollar settlement for medical malpractice. Let’s pretend that I, the physician who did not want to give you bad news, never see you again. Let’s just try to pretend that you determine that all of it could have been prevented but medical malpractice cost the life of your loved one.

Now, let’s quit pretending. I am not a physician but I really am a preacher. I know that you are lost but I don’t tell you because I don’t want to upset you with the fact that you are a sinner and that there is a holy God you will have to face after this life. I don’t want to tell you the bad news so you can understand the good news. Instead I only preach comfort, encouragement, blessing, prosperity, and motivational stuff but I never tell you really what the Scripture says. In the quiet, alone moments your mind tells you that there is more than what you are hearing but the rat race of life rarely provides moments of quiet introspection so that thought gets blown off. Don’t be fooled, we will end up either in Heaven or Hell, no in between, and no opportunity for a second chance. This is real life and you can’t pretend.

A physician can be sued for medical malpractice. Shouldn't a preacher be able to be sued for religious malpractice? Sad to say but people rarely think of things in this way. A soul is far more valuable than a human body is yet most people never even entertain that thought.

If you are one who hears a preacher, you have a responsibility to know what the Bible says for yourself. If you are one who preaches, you have a greater weight of responsibility to get it right because your words will either bring eternal life or eternal death. Get it right!!!


Dan Barkley said...

Awesome post. Thank you.

Me and My Thoughts said...

Thanks!! What a challenge to the pulpit AND the pew!

Darryl Freeman said...

Good Stuff!! Well Said! Preach the Word Preacher!

Pete Mays said...

Well told. Your medical background is showing :)

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post Brother Harrelson!

-Bro. Connell

Auspicious-Things said...

Nicely done! Thanks

Betty said...

Certainly put it in perspective.

I am guilty of not wanting to "upset" people with the facts.

I pray God give me the courage to tell people the truth, regardless of the initial pain.

Please say a prayer that God will bless me with boldness. I feel time is so short.

Thinking of you all,

Sis Betty Mullins