Monday, September 22, 2003


My friend Sam had to go back to the hospital yesterday following his snout rerouting. He was having some bad pain. Sam is a fan of the Houston Texans but it's only worth passing mention that the pain became unbearable as the Texans game against the Chiefs wore on....and on...and on.

It was Sunday afternoon, which of course meant his doctor was not available. I've learned over the years that on Saturdays, Sundays, and most holidays the on call physician is never going to say, "Gee, I think I'll go open my office and you come in right away." Instead they're always going to say, "Go to the emergency room". That's what happened in Sam's case.

Pass the buck medical style

Anyway, my friend Ben drove Sam to the E.R. and I decided to meet them because the hospital is nearby. Plus, the Texans game had just ended and I'm really not above kicking a guy when he's down.

Sam got poked, prodded and repeatedly asked questions that had nothing to do with his condition, but were required for some important insurance company medical form that will be filed away. The forms no doubt will go unread until archaeologists unearth them in 10 thousand years and scratch their collective heads saying, "Why do you think they needed to know his shoe size?"

Ben and I sat in the waiting room.

Ben is quite possibly the wisest person I know. He lives and works in a secular world, but he is spiritually centered. You will be talking with Ben and he will gently guide you toward insights of how God is working in your life. It is effortless on his part, because he lives that life so devoutly.

Ben is a gentleman and a gentle man.

When I met Ben I thought, "That's the type of man I want to be."

I've known him for seven years. My opinion and my aspirations have not changed.

When Amy and I met Ben's children we prayed our kids would turn out so well, and over the years we have asked Ben for his advice on child rearing. He has never steered us wrong.

I know of no better witness for Christ.

Ben and I talked about where we each are in the seasons of our lives, about the crises we have faced and are facing, and how we cope with the world at large. In his tender manner he coaxed me to unload my thoughts and burdens. He offered sympathy, but also sound advice.

The time flew by.

After a couple of hours of the hospital staff doing what weekend hospital staffs do best, ignoring us, we barged our way in to check on Sam and learned the doctors wanted to get another skull shot. Figuring they'd be dismayed by what they saw, and that it would take at least another hour as well as a few more forms, Ben and I went to dinner.
The meal was good...the conversation was fulfilling.

When we returned, Sam was dosed up with something that not only alleviated his pain, but also blanked out all memory of the Texans performance. No one could ask for more, obviously they had given him the good stuff.

Ben drove Sam home and I drove away realizing that this trip to the emergency room was just what the Doctor ordered...for me.

Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.