Friday, June 4, 2021


 There is only so much that we can do medically.  I tell patients all too often, that we have nothing medically to change the situation, but God has the power to heal people, and sometimes he makes the blind see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear.  I have seen some miracles, not as many as I would like to see, but I have definitely seen some, and Steven was one of those.

I walked into the ER and saw a number of charts waiting for a doctor to see them.  I picked one up, and glanced at the chart that the nurses had started.  It said, patient died at home, heart started beating, brought in.  I scanned the physical part of the chart and found the patient seemed to be unresponsive and had a very slow heart rate.  I wasn't too optimistic as I headed over to Bed #2 in the ER.  

I got to the bed and found a very nice mattress under a man who didn't seem to have much life to him.  I asked the two people with him, who I assumed were his parents, if they could share with me what happened and what brought them in.  They told me that their son, Steven, had died yesterday. They had cried and kept his body at home, but this am, his heart started beating and so they brought him in to see if we could help.  Looking through his clinic book, I found that he had a history of liver cirrhosis, so it wasn't looking good that we were going to be able to help him.

When I examined him, I found that his heart was beating only about 50 times/minute (which is slow), he didn't withdraw his arms or his legs when I tried to induce pain, and his eyes had a film on them and didn't react to light.  None of this looked promising for his future, but he was alive and they wanted our help and so I talked to the family and wasn't very encouraging, but they asked that we admit him and see what happens, so I did.

The following day, I rounded on our medical ward, and he was just laying in the bed, didn't look like he had moved at all.  When I talked to his family, they didn't provide me with anything to give us hope that he might turn around.  I told them we would keep doing what we were doing, but it didn't look good, they seemed to understand.  

The next day when I rounded, I noticed that there were blankets on bed number 27, but there was no one in the bed.  I assumed that he had passed away sometime during the previous day, and a new person had come in to take that bed.  But shortly there after, a guy walked down the ward and sat on the bed.  I picked up the chart and found the same chart I had the past 2 days for Steven.  I looked at the guy sitting on the bed, and I asked him his name, certain that this wasn't Steven.  He told me his name was Steven.  I couldn't believe it.  His family wasn't with him, so I couldn't ask them what happened, so I kept talking to Steven.  He seemed just fine, he in no way seemed like he had been on the edge of death just 24 hours earlier.  

When we finished talking, I asked him if he went to church, he told me he did.  I asked him if he knew the story of Lazarus, he said he did.  I told him I was going to call him that.  The patients and family members around him laughed, and then translated what I said into his Tok Ples.  He laughed once he fully understood what I was saying.  I told him if he looked this good tomorrow, he could go home.

The next day when I got to the ward, he was sitting there smiling, as if everything was fine, his mom next to him at his bedside.  I greeted him as Lazarus and he laughed, and then after a brief visit I sent him home.  I will never know what happened to make him almost die, nor why God choose to perform a miracle in Steven's life.  I don't know if Steven heard something like Lazarus did when Jesus called to him in John 11:43-44, "Lazarus, come out."  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, "Unbind him and let him go."  

Some things we just will never understand in this life, but I know for sure God does miracles and have seen a number of them in my time here.  While I wish there were more, I am thankful for the ones I do see, and thankful that Steven's was one of them.