b Cheri LeBlanc, MD: When did compassion leave?

Monday, December 04, 2006

When did compassion leave?

We had an awesome time in St. Francisville this past Saturday. It was a smaller clinic than usual because their annual Christmas Parade was passing on the same street that we use, so we had to have shorter hours. But as always when hearts are seeking Him, God shows up.

There are 2 stories from that day that I can't get out of my mind. One is a young man that we were seeing for the 3rd time. On the prior 2 occasions he had declined the offer of prayer. We never force it on anyone, just as Christ never forced Himself on anyone when He walked the Earth. We just kept loving on this man and serving him just like everyone else. What this man didn't know was that he was being prayed for by this wonderful team in St. Francisville. As you may have already guessed, this Saturday was different. This time when asked if he would like to talk with a prayer partner, he accepted the invitation! Praise God!

The other story is about a lady that we were also seeing for the 3rd time. After I had concluded the medical exam and discussed her medications and I was getting up to leave, she just sat looking at the floor. I sat back down and asked her what was wrong. I noticed tears streaming down her face. She said, "I just want you to know that I have never seen such compassion in professional people as I have experienced with all of you. From the moment I walk in the door and I am greeted by a happy smiling face welcoming me like family. Even the nurse as he takes my blood pressure is smiling and asking how I am doing in a way that implies that he really cares and is interested in the answer. He's not just asking it in a way that doesn't expect an answer. In all my years (she is in her early 60's) I've never experienced compassion like this in a professional environment."

I was deeply touched and cried with her. On the way back home I tried to analyze (that's what us doctors do) what brought me to tears. And I realized it was tears for all those professional people, including myself, that begin to look at our profession as a job instead of a calling. All of us that are blessed to interact with people in our job so easily loose our focus. Instead of seeing these interactions with people as an opportunity, we see them as a necessary task or even a burden. God help us all!

Compassion should be the "norm" instead of such an exception that it brought this sweet lady to tears when she experienced it. I now have a prayer focus of praying for renewed compassion in all medical professionals. Please join me.


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