‘I can’t be forgiven!’

The Doctor's Life Support for 11 November

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’

Matthew 11: 28

She had been admitted with a stroke. Recovery of tone and power in her limbs had been quite good and there seemed to be no reason for her very slow response to rehabilitation. She was, certainly, depressed and on the ward round antidepressant medication had been discussed. After the round the ward doctor said to the consultant ‘Could you have a word with Mrs Y? I think this might be a spiritual problem.’ Later that day, in private, the consultant ‘had a word’ with the patient and, having discussed her progress, he asked, ‘Is there anything else troubling you?’ to which she replied, hesitantly, ‘Yes! You see, my problem is that I can’t be forgiven!’ In response to the question ‘Why not?’ she went on to tell of something which had happened many years before, which she now deeply regretted, but the other people concerned were now dead, and, because she could no longer make restitution, she believed she could not be forgiven. The consultant took the opportunity to speak of the free forgiveness bought for us on the cross of Calvary and later contacted the hospital chaplain who followed up the theme of God’s grace. Her burden was lifted, the anti-depressant was never prescribed, and her rehabilitation progressed satisfactorily. Physical, emotional and spiritual needs are often interconnected and in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, we are given resources to meet these needs.

Written by George L Chalmers from the UK

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