The Doctor's Life Support for 14 August

‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

Mark 12: 31

The young and very fit intern paused by the bed of a dying elderly patient and, taking his hand, gently asked, ‘Do you need anything?’ ‘No, but thanks’ came the reply, spoken with a dry mouth but with quiet understanding. As it happened both intern and patient were Christians and had spoken before about their shared faith. Looked at from one perspective, it was a sad little cameo performance. The intern was following a long and excellent tradition of caring and the patient, though recognising that death was imminent, was careful to express gratitude for the human touch. Humanly speaking, the contrast between the two could not have been greater, youthful good health and approaching death in old age, but spiritually intern and patient had much in common. The moment had, no doubt, many heavy theological overtones, but the simpler question is: Do I in good health, and will I when dying, behave as a Christian? Certainly, I am called to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and with all my strength, but I am also called to love my neighbour as myself, to reflect God’s love in Jesus. The intern reached out and the dying patient said ‘Thank you.’ Love and loved are words that appear very frequently in the Bible, almost 600 times according to my concordance. Our professions give more opportunities to show warm Christian love than many others. Modern society degrades the word love, but Christian love sees something precious in its object and continually seeks what is best for it. My spiritual gifts and good deeds have little value if I have not love! Love has many wonderful characteristics, but please do read the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians for yourself.

Written by J Harold Jones from UK

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