Mercy Shown By A Close Friend
by Anne Harrell
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Psalm 103:8-14 (KJV)
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
A very close doctor friend had shown me the true meaning of what mercy is all about recently during an argument. The leniency that he had for me, I could see the love of Christ in him, and the compassion he had upon me I did not deserve. I have seen the forgiveness and understanding side of him before but never this profound. He is always pardoning me for my unleash tongue and wild behaviors yet really after I have done something stupid and off the wall he doesn’t remember it.
Just a couple weeks ago this caring doctor and I had some disagreement where part of the problem I let his nurse in his office really guide my steps. It all begun when I had called him to tell him I had heard from a TV producer where I had written a letter telling them what this special doctor has done to help my family over the last nineteen years. He has seen us through the death of our profoundly handicapped daughter and also medically following our four boys who are all also handicapped. The nurse had said that he was not going to do the show and at that he wanted no more to do with a book that he and I were writing together for the last seven years. Some of the things that were said I knew were out of character of him yet, I was holding him to his word without leave way. I had let things stew for the week and when I did hear from him I laid into him without any understanding. He wasn’t aware that I wanted to speak with him or that the nurse had told me that he was finish with the book. He had promised me seven years ago that he would help me write the book. He is one for when he promises something he holds true to his word.
This particular week that I really stressed out was just not the time to bring things up to him while he was on duty and not feeling well. I knew he wasn’t feeling too good when he had been laid on my heart heavy to the point that I was waking up in the middle of the night crying with him on my mind. I also knew something was really bothering him when I had seen him a few days before and he seem ten-thousand miles away. Every month he goes on duty at a local hospital. Usually during that week can be very stressful and exhausting for him. It is a week that I know I need to be on my knees and praying and interceding for him more before Christ. Some of the things that happen during that week were several times I had called him, he would return my call with me on the other end yelling at him about my next to the youngest son, who was having behavior problems. Not only would I get upset with him over my son I would lay into him about his nurse. No matter what he did he could not make me happy. He tried so hard to get things done to help my son and getting his nurse to take care of them yet, even when he tried to make things better, it made things worst and I had no mercy on him.
Usually during the week he is on call I am in sync to his needs. I know when he is stressing without having contact with him. Yet this specific week about half way through I lost tune to his needs. It was like God had removed me from the scene. I had no feeling as to if he was ok or not. The song “Blessed Assurance” reminds me to pray for him when he is in need I can tell how stress he is by how many times I would hear the song during the day or night. That Wednesday night after yelling at the doctor where my husband Mark, could hear me, Mark pleaded with me to stop yelling at our doctor friend. Mark could tell that the doctor was getting upset with me and I had hurt his feelings. During that week that Wednesday night to the following Wednesday I did not hear the song. At that time if I heard the song it would have made me feel better.
When I finally did come face to face with the doctor that following Wednesday, I wasn’t too sure that he would see me or not. I wasn’t too sure that I wanted to see him after the big argument; I didn’t think that our friendship would make it through this one dispute. Yet Mark and others that knew the doctor friend knew that he was just lying low for a while letting the dust settle. My fear was not only our friendship but my children’s doctor was no longer there for them. My partner in writing the book was going to be gone out of my life. In all honesty he should have dropped my children from his practice. By the grace of God he didn’t. The Lord was going to have to work this problem out because I just didn’t know how to fix the dilemma. All I could do was pray.
I could see where God was bringing us back together when my daughter had gotten an award in her JROTC and she had promised him that she would bring it up that day to let him see it. That day she was unable to go, with other things happening and I had to go take it to him. All along I was praying God you have to go before me on this I can’t change the out come of this disagreement. The whole way up to his office and while waiting for him, I was praying to the Lord for help and what should I say to him? How was I to act? I was very fearful because I was in the wrong.
While praying to the Lord, I looked up to my surprise; he had come from the back of the office kidding around with me. He came out like nothing had ever happen between us. It was like the week before had never took place. I feared that he would never hug me again with some of harsh disrespectable things I had said to him the week earlier. He came over and sat in the chair beside me. He asked me questions where he knew that I would have to give him eye to eye contact to answer them. Yet all during that time I was thinking about twenty years had flash before my eyes and scared that they were gone forever. Memories of all the kind things he had done without complaining.
The understanding caring heart he has prevailed. He showed me without speaking a word; the love of Christ. He had already forgiven me and ready to move on. I found out also during that time of me being upset he was interceding for me to my doctor that he knew that some of the medicines that I was on were not mixing. That is where God had given him the concern that I wasn’t ok. As we got up to part, without hesitation he turns and gave a hug before disappearing into the back of the office again. I realized that he was a closer friend then I thought. Yet through all the problems he was still slow to anger. If ever I saw the love of Christ and what Christ does for us! He forgives us without us asking. Our sins are thrown as far as the east is to the west. That evening I heard the song “Blessed Assurance” that I had not heard for over a week. Yes it did sound comforting to me that night. I knew when I heard it that Christ was telling me that all is well. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Sprit washed in his blood.” “Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels descending bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.” “Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest; watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in his love.”
This special doctor showed me what a true friend is all about. He showed me the love that Christ has for us. He is one person that has left a lasting impression me that I will remember for the rest of my life. I will think twice before I say something not too nice. He didn’t have to show me compassion with the way I had acted toward him.
Blessed Assurance was written by Fanny J. Crosby
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