I go home

It gets repetitive and dull. My first patient Ms. B complains of yet another self inflicted emotional and physical wound. The physical wound is the infected heroin injection site. I don’t have time to address the emotional wound. Mr. V is waiting.

Mr. V is bi-sexual. He, sometimes she or they, feels persistent societal and cultural biases which only worsen his, her, their attempt at keeping appointments and taking medicines on time. Add to that, all of them lack financial resources and feel unsafe at home. Their grandkids abuse them, taking advantage of their kindness and using the home as a place to host drinking, smoking and drug parties. It is an unsafe environment. This a toxic mix which is smothering them, and right now choking me.

I want to quit listening. I don’t even want to complete a thorough physical examination or discuss the implications of the multiple laboratory and imaging studies. I dare not address the moral issues if I want to keep them engaged enough to return for treatment. None of them understand the objective data and I will only have to repeat it again next week, especially when they return with interested family members or partners. Does it ever end? For them, no it doesn’t. But as for me, I get to go home.

I hurry up. I check all of the boxes confirming I have acknowledged the abnormal liver enzymes, bladder infection and pneumonia. I document that I have given them specific instructions, handouts to explain diet, smoking cessation, exercise and substance abuse. After that, I to go home.

I get to go home. The housing development is pristine. The lawns are manicured. The streets have smooth and the sidewalks are clean. My neighbors only ring my bell to tell me they kept the package that was delivered to me at their house because it was raining when it arrived. Other than that, I never hear from my neighbors. I get to go home.

I will never begin to understand how miserable and helpless it must feel for someone to leave my office, burdened down with all of the bad news I just offloaded. It does not matter that I gave copies of the most important studies or detailed instructions on what pill to take when, which doctor to see next week, and how to apply the ointments, appliances and dressings to the wounds, sprains and scars. They go home to the same challenges of limited financial resources, emotional support and unsafe living conditions.

Once I leave clinic, I go home where I have an unlimited supply of all of these things in a comfortable, safe and loving environment. I thank God and I dare not judge. After all, I get to go home.

The Last Word

Your arguments are good
Your logic is refined
But if they are to know the truth
The last word must be Mine

You stand on your integrity
Never step out of line
You claim to be quite virtuous
When the glory should be Mine

Your striving to convince
Serves as the clearest sign
You just want to prove a point
When the last word, should be Mine

All the things you say and do
Are just a waste of time
When all they hear and see is you
And the last word should be Mine

When all flesh breathes their last
They will meet with the divine
Your opinions will not matter
Because the last word will be Mine

Isaiah 5:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Romans 11:34 KJV

My Short List

I have my very own short list
Of people I ignore
Those who have offended me
I can now even the score

I pretend I just don’t see them
As if they don’t exist
They wronged and they hurt me
That’s why they are on my list

When on the street I see them
I cross to the other side
If they try to come and greet me
I increase my speed and stride

I compared my list to God’s
He was not picky as expected
He had a lower standard
He list had no one as rejected

He informed me of His choices
Of His lowering the bar
Said that if He judged as I did
Even I wouldn’t make it far

He said “I have no list of left outs’
Those I refuse to recognize
All are equally sinful and unworthy
But I do not one despise

I offer them all salvation
I grant them heaven’s bliss
And for Me to welcome you
You must take them off your list

Your list of unforgiven
Your list of ‘rot in hell’
Your list of ‘that’s the last straw’
If you can’t then I will tell

That you have no name in heaven
For you eternity does not exist
If you call yourself My child
You have no hate on your list

2 Peter 3:8-9 Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance

Just as long

Just as long as he does what we want
We don’t care who he teases or taunts
He can call them bad names
Cause embarrassment and shame
Just as long as he does what we want

Just as long as he delivers for us
We don’t care if he spits shouts or cuss
He can spew hatred and fear
As long as our enemies hear
Just as long as he delivers for us

Just as long as things go our way
It doesn’t matter what he might say
The language he uses
Confounds and confuses
Just as long as things go our way

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:20 KJV

Perfect Peace

The headlines of the newspapers read
Sleep better our now our enemy’s dead
Indeed, oh my, we finally got him
Blew himself up before we shot him
Let’s get back to entertainment instead

The man on the breaking news said
Active shooter keep low cover your head
The police are now in hot pursuit
However he is still able to shoot
I groaned and got back in bed

Be careful where you step or tread
In mosque where your prayer rug is spread
In church, or synagogue when praying
Make ‘keep us safe’ the words you’re saying
Give us protection as our daily bread

Things that cause deep fear and dread
Is the bad news I am constantly fed
Violence, brutality, vengeance and greed
Done in God’s name by some some creed
Dear Lord please say what lies ahead

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26:3 KJV

In The Way

I was dressed professionally with blue shirt, matching tie and crisp, clean, white lab coat. I had an ink pen in my breast pocket and name badge clearly displayed. There was no lint in my hair, no hint of the chocolate bar on my teeth. Having thus prepared, I stepped into her room and greeted her. The two children remained silent except for their coughing.

Good afternoon Ms. H. How can I help you?

I don’t remember much after this. It seems everything went downhill.

How long have you been coughing? Do you have a fever? Is anyone else at home sick? Are you taking any medicines?

She answered each of these in a monotone as if I was not asking the right questions.

Then, she went on to relate the multiple situations, signs and symptoms that had brought her to be treated today. I lost track after the first 6 or 7 complaints because they began to overlap.

‘Well, it all started when my boyfriend accused me of paying more attention to my other boyfriend’s children than his children. He screamed at me and would not let me get in a word. Then he raised his hand and struck at me. Luckily, I turned my head and he only got the back of it, but just enough to make me hit my head and mouth against the wall. My lip started bleeding and my front tooth came loose. Can you see it here doctor?’ She raised her upper lip with her fingers revealing the bruising and cut on the inside and a broken tooth.

She went on. ‘Then he grabbed me by my hair and threatened me that I better pay more attention to his two children than the other four or he would move out and leave me to pay the rent, lights and buy the food by myself. I don’t have a real job. I just take care of these babies. Then he left me and I started coughing and it won’t stop. The kids are coughing too, she said pointing to them. Both had running noses, and were coughing’

At this point, I am trying to figure out what does this have to do with her diabetes and hypertension. I can’t begin to address the smoking cessation that is obviously affecting the asthma and bronchitis of her children. I dare not go down the road of the necessity of immunizations. That only leads to a quarrel.

She is in the way of helping me tie all of these significant illnesses into a neat and easily treatable package. She is not making it easy for me. I face the computer and start my charting. Everything is in perfect order on the screen.

Unfortunately I don’t have the option of only treating the x-rays, lab studies or physical findings. The patient gets in the way of doing this. Their social comorbidities overwhelm the coding of the physical diagnoses and undermine my clean, crisp treatment plan.

Patients will get in the way of the treatment plans. I need to address their concerns and give them room so that with time, they will hear me. I must not be the help that hinders.

Jesus asked the man in John 5:6 ‘Do you want to be made whole?’ The man’s answer was not a yes or no, but a list of things that prevented his healing. The Healer of healers was there and this man was in his own way of being healed.

He did not condemn the man for his excuses or failures, He just healed him.

I must learn to address both their chief complaint with my chief concern. I know there are obstacles for their healing. I should not be one of those obstacles. She will return if I don’t stand in the way. And if she does, it gives me another opportunity to show compassionate care and help her get out of the way for her own healing to take place.

Damaged Goods

These were damaged goods
Full of canker and rust
No right mind would
Even wipe off the dust

To purchase such items
Out of date out of style
We would rather look down
The higher priced aisle

However, Jesus shopped
Amongst things cast away
For people deemed unworthy
In our high fashioned day

He found me in a trash bin
Headed for the garbage heap
Instead He decided
That I was well worth to keep

He embraced me, then cleaned me
He changed my price tag
He washed me with a cloth
With His blood on the rag

As people look now
They never know where I have been
I was once damaged goods
Cleansed by Jesus from my sin

I am worthy of heaven
I am of infinite worth
All because the great Master
Made His inventory on earth

Leftovers

I gave my leftovers to Jesus
I said to myself Jesus won’t mind
After all if He is really hungry
He will see my actions as kind

Clothing that I am not wearing
Shoes with a scuff here and there
After all I am indeed sharing
Without me His feet would be bare

I had a few coins in my pocket
Stuff I don’t consider as cash
When traffic slows down at a stop sign
I’ll give Jesus a few if he asks

A lot of good stuff I’m not using
And this I know to be true
It is no real value to me
I can always buy something new

“When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,’ that’s defiling. And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you’re trying to get rid of—blind and sick and crippled animals—isn’t that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator—how far do you think it will get you?” God -of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
Malachi 1:7‭-‬8 MSG

Being ——- While Black

There are many dangerous conditions associated with being black. Some of these can be fatal. Here are list of some:

1. Driving while black
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Philando_Castile

2. Parking while black
* https://www.npr.org/2019/10/10/769089719/florida-man-who-shot-and-killed-a-black-man-in-parking-dispute-gets-20-years

3. Breathing while black
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Eric_Garner

4. Walking while black
* https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/us/asheville-police-beating-black-man.html

5. Sleeping while black
* https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/09/us/yale-student-napping-black-trnd/index.html

6. Moving into house while black
* https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/08/26/kazeem-oyeneyin-raleigh-police-video/

7. Mowing your lawn while black
* https://www.mic.com/articles/190120/white-ohio-family-that-called-911-on-black-boy-mowing-lawn-calls-police-on-him-again-july-4

8. Being at home while black
* https://abcnews.go.com/US/demand-justice-family-texas-woman-fatally-shot-home/story?id=66261203

This is just a summary of events over the past few years, which have been caught on camera and brought to the nation’s attention.

Being black is a pre-existing condition. There is a concerted effort by this society to put us out of their misery.

Delightful Deprivation

Lord whenever I faced temptation
Give me the joy of delightful deprivation
Soothing, soft, seductive voices
Make it hard to make good choices
Give me escape from evil situations

Lord I constantly feel such greed
Wanting more than I could ever need
Filling every closet every shelf
Concerned with nothing more than self
Insatiable wordly appetites I constantly feed

Lord how long must I abide
With a self-centered nature of my pride
Thinking others are beneath me
Dear Jesus, please bequeath me
Your humbling presence by my side

Lord crush my appetite for fame
Increase my hunger for Your name
Give me the victory of Your presence
The holiness which is Your essence
And victory in You I will proclaim

Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:”

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear