A doctor's story



Before entering publicly my profession as physician I was engaged as assistant in a hospital. In such a place one gets acquainted with a great deal of human suffering. But amidst these things the precious fruit, produced alone by the faith which is in Jesus Christ, is also to be seen.

This was nothing new to me, for in the earliest days of my youth I had had opportunity to see such fruit, and especially in the life of my dear mother. She had been a godly, pious woman, quite often telling me of the dear Savior, and many times I had been a witness of her wrestling in prayer for my soul's salvation.

But nothing had made a deep impression upon me. The older I grew, the more wicked I became. For the God of my mother I did not care in the least, but rather sought by all means to drive Him out of my thoughts. I was in danger of becoming a thorough infidel, but for the voice of my conscience ever accusing and reproaching me for not walking in the path of my mother, who was then in a far better scene than this world of sin and misery.

About this time an incident which crossed my life gave it an altogether different course.

One day a seriously injured hod-carrier, who had fallen a considerable height while climbing a ladder, was brought into the hospital. The case was hopeless; all we could do was to ease the pains of the unfortunate man. He seemed to realize his condition, for he was fully conscious, and asked me how long he would last. As it was in vain to keep the truth from him, I gave him my opinion in as cautious a manner as I could.

"So long yet!" he answered. "I thought it would be sooner, but He knows best."

"Yes, I believe I know it," I answered. And the man looked at me endeavoring to smile.

"I understand you very well, but I meant some one else," he answered with difficulty.

"Have you any relatives whom we could notify?" I continued.

The patient shook his head. He stood alone in the world. His only wish was to see his landlady, because he owed her a little sum and also he wished to bid her farewell. His desire was, of course, granted.

After a week of much suffering he died. I went to see him on my regular visits, at least once a day. What struck me most was the quiet, yea, almost happy expression which was constantly on his face. I knew he was a Christian, but about such matters I cared not to talk with him, nor hear.

After the man had died, some things regarding the deceased's affairs were to be attended to in my presence.

"What shall we do with this?" asked the nurse, while holding a book in her hand. "What kind of book is it?" I asked.

"The Bible of the poor man. His landlady brought it at her second visit. As long as he was able to read it, and when he was unable to do so any more, he kept it under his bed cover."

I took the Bible -- and could I trust my own eyes? It was my own Bible, the Bible my mother had given me when I left my parents' home, and which later, when short of money, I had sold for a small amount --yes, I had sold it. My name was still in it, written in my mother's own hand, and beneath it the verse which she had selected for me. I stood as in a dream, but I regained my self-control, managing to conceal before those present my deep emotion. In seemingly indifferent manner and tone I answered the nurse: "The book is old and has hardly any value, let me keep it and I will see about the rest."

I took the Bible to my room. It had been used frequently. Many leaves were loose, others torn; the cover was also damaged. Almost every page gave evidence that it had been read very often. Many places were underscored, and while looking through it I read some of the precious verses, and a word I had heard in the days of my youth returned to my memory. With a deep sense of shame I looked upon the precious Book. It had given comfort and refreshing to the unfortunate man in his last hours. It had been a guide to him into life eternal, so that he had been enabled to die in peace and in happiness. And this Book, the last and most precious gift of my mother, I had actually sold for a ridiculous price.

The voice of my conscience could no more be silenced. I found no rest until I arose and came to Him whose love I had often repulsed, but who ever thought of me in love and compassion. By God's grace and mercy I was enabled to believe that "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," of whom I seemed to be "one of the chief." -- Sel.


From: THRILLING STORIES For Young And Old By Julia A. Shelhamer, God's Bible School and College, Cincinnati, Ohio. No Date