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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)

TITLE: Of Doctors, Birds, and Band-Aids
By Sharlyn Guthrie


“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Tyson, the fourth grade Star of the Week, was being interviewed by his teacher.

“An Otolaryngologist,” was his reply.

The teacher peered at him over the top of her glasses. “I don’t suppose you know how to spell that.”

He did.

Every spring, after routine auditory screening at the school, my husband and I had been notified that our youngest son’s hearing need to be re-checked. Year by year his hearing deteriorated, due to a hole in his eardrum. Tyson was impressed with the doctors that examined and eventually performed surgery on him at the large university Ear Nose and Throat Clinic we frequented. In fact, he had already taken the first step toward becoming a doctor himself, contriving his very own illegible signature.

Tyson possessed many doctoral qualities, but I knew that there was one small glitch in his fourth-grade plan. He disliked reading. In fact, the only chapter book that he had ever read was Stuart Little, which he read over, and over, and over again! It was quite a stretch to imagine him poring over medical journals.

On the other hand, his childish heart was very sensitive, especially toward animals. One day I found him seated at our picnic table with a box of band-aids. He was bent over, and so engrossed that he didn’t hear me approach. When he finally looked up I glimpsed the little bird, a victim of our mischievous cat, struggling for life on the table in front of him. Band aids were stuck to the bird at every odd angle imaginable. I would have laughed, had it not been for my son’s pale face and expression of utter despair. He knew that for all of his efforts he couldn’t “fix” the little bird. Later in the day we held a funeral service and buried the bird behind the garage.

Today our aspiring doctor is in his eighth year of higher education, and well on his way toward his goal. However, the field of Otolaryngology has been abandoned. As much as he admired his childhood physicians, another Physician has captured his full dedication and devotion. He is consumed with love for Jesus, the greatest of all healers. In this, his fourth year of seminary, Tyson has begun his search for a doctor of theology program. He has moved well beyond Stuart Little, devouring books with titles I can’t pronounce, and poring over commentaries rather than medical journals.

Considering his chosen field of study, it’s doubtful that Tyson will be famous or make a large amount of money, but I am pleased and humbled by the choices he has made, and I am amazed by his perseverance. He is especially blessed to have a wife that supports him in his quest to grow deep in the knowledge of God.

As dedicated as our son is, I am careful not to take his spiritual life for granted. Each and every day I pray that he will remain humble rather than puffed up by his knowledge, that he will always recognize the tremendous healing power of the Holy Spirit, and that he will continue to feel the same burden for dying souls as he did for the little bird dying in his hands on the picnic table. Finally, I pray that when he has dispensed compassion, love, and knowledge like so many band-aids to spiritually struggling sinners, he will not despair, but rest in knowing that he has done all that God has required of him.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NASV)

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This article has been read 1010 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood11/09/06
Beautiful character study--great descriptions and dialog! I especially loved the opening scene, where the precocious fourth-grader astonishes his teacher with his spelling ability!

It was interesting to follow his growth and development from a compassionate "bird-fixing" potential doctor into an adult theologian. Great message conveyed through Band_Aid imagery!

Would like to see this story end with some kind of specific, colorful dialog or scene similar to the opening. one.
Jan Ackerson 11/13/06
I really loved the first part of this, and would have liked it to be expanded, so that the whole story is about the aspiring little doctor. Very tenderly written.
Joanne Sher 11/13/06
I just ADORED your opening - and was moved by the entire story! I would also like something a bit more similar to the opening to finish it, but this was VERY moving.
cindy yarger11/14/06
Good tribute to a son. Well done
david grant11/17/06
As Daddy hoping for great things from his own son, I can't help but be encouraged by this story. Well done! A DAVEY for you!
Edy T Johnson 11/20/06
You brought tears to my eyes with this story. Your writing flows so effortlessly. I'm glad for the recognition you received.