Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CALL (01/14/16)
- TITLE: God’s Tender Tenacity
By Dannie Hawley
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After reconnecting leads and checking all gauges, I locked the ports on the isolette. Clipboard in one hand, scribbling numbers on the chart with the other, a thought interrupted my recording.
Time to go to the mission field.
â€śWhoa! Whereâ€™d that come from?â€ť I shook my head. â€śI must be tired tonight.â€ť
â€śHey, you talkinâ€™ to yourself again?â€ť I hadnâ€™t noticed Karen enter the room.
â€śYeah. Guess the twelve-hour night shift can play tricks on my mind.â€ť An alarm sounded from one of my colleagueâ€™s babies, saving me from further discussion.
Two days later, coffee cup in hand, I pressed the power button on the remote. I loved watching movie classics on Saturday afternoons. Struggling to shake off the drowsiness, my glazed eyes stared at the images on the screen.
â€śLooks like Africa,â€ť I said, taking a sip of the steaming brew. â€śMaybe an old Tarzan flick?â€ť
For the remainder of the ninety-minute film, I enjoyed a remarkable story of three fourth-year medical students, helping a pediatrician in a remote African location. As the saga drew to a close, the camera focused on a discussion between the soon-to-be physicians, stopping to look back at the jungle village.
â€śIâ€™m really gonna miss this place,â€ť said the first man.
â€śWe learned so much here, but I think we contributed to the clinic, too,â€ť said the second.
â€śDr. Wingate needs help. Sheâ€™s been working here for so many yearsâ€”all aloneâ€”and, well, sheâ€™s not getting any younger,â€ť said the third man.
â€śSo, come back and help her after you finish med school and your residency,â€ť said the second man.
Hoisting his backpack to one shoulder, the young man said, â€śIt could be too late then. How many kids will die while I finish my education? Iâ€™m not going back with you.â€ť
The fade-to-black came as the man turned towards the village. My tears trickled down my cheeks; my heart raced. â€śOh no, God. This isnâ€™t a message for me, is it? Itâ€™s just an old movie.â€ť I shook off the absurdity and chastised myself for getting so emotionally involved in a show.
On Monday morning, passing the sofa on my way to bed, I noticed my roommateâ€™s new copy of the American Journal of Nursing. The shift had been chaotic, and my only thoughts for the past two hours centered on sleepâ€”until I saw the journalâ€™s cover.
The entire issue had been dedicated to the experiences available in cross-cultural nursing. Coincidence? My internal alarm bells released the warning. Simultaneously, I noticed sweat beading across my forehead and upper lip, increased heart rate, and panting respirations.
â€śGet a grip!â€ť I shouted. â€śYouâ€™re just tired. Go to bed.â€ť
After hours of waterbed turbulence, I finally addressed the Master. â€śLook, God. This isnâ€™t the time to go. Iâ€™ll go, but not now. Publishing research isnâ€™t a minor deal for a new practitioner, you know? Iâ€™ve got plans.â€ť
An obligation sprung to mind. â€śBesides, God, I committed to sending $50 each month to a missionary. If I leave my job, Iâ€™ll not be able to fulfill that commitment.â€ť Confident Iâ€™d been heard, I slept well.
Several days later, all thoughts of missions forgotten, I answered the ringing phone. â€śHey, Sue!â€ť I said after hearing her voice. â€śWhat a surprise. I shouldnâ€™t have had today off, so Iâ€™m doubly-glad to be here now.â€ť
â€śWell, uh, Iâ€™m not sure why, because I know you make more money than I do, but God told me to call you and tell you that Iâ€™ll be sending you $50 each month. I need to check on your address.â€ť
â€śOh no, Sue! Thatâ€™s the worst thing you couldâ€™ve said. That means I have to leave my job.â€ť
My excitement grew as I explained the timing of her call. I knew the next appointment with my pastor would end with prayer. This time, weâ€™d be praying to thank God for His clear signs that the time had come for me to fulfill His call.
A few weeks later, I stepped off a plane, beginning the journey of a lifetime. For thirty-two years, Iâ€™ve enjoyed serving on foreign soil. God knew Iâ€™d love the little children of the world, too.
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