“The Vietnam War, My Divorce…” (Matthew 28:16-17)

The smell of the hot pizza filled the living room with a soothing enticing aroma. It was the only comfortable moment we had for the rest of the evening. I was a pathology resident in one of my training programs and I joined all of the residents and fellows for a mandatory meeting at the home of the Chief of Pathology. We all knew why we were being summoned. In the prior week, one of the residents had attempted to destroy a microscope slide that had unmistakable evidence that he missed a cancer, even though he gave a preliminary diagnosis to the surgeon that there was no cancer. Another resident who was involved in the case went to the Chief of Pathology who immediately began his own investigation. By the end of the day, that pathology resident was fired.   

There were over thirty people crammed into the parlor of his home. Conversations were subdued as we ate our pizza. Finally the Chief spoke out. “In my life there have been three life changing events-the Vietnam War, my divorce…and now this.”

My eyes bulged. It was an egregious action but to juxtapose this with the Vietnam War and his divorce took it to another level. For the next hour, the Chief of Pathology and other faculty members shared their own experiences of the pressures they face to be perfect. All confessed to making mistakes and how they dealt with their errors. They sought to reassure us that we must be honest to our patients and for all health care professionals involved. After the meeting, I conversed with my co-resident. “I could not believe the Chief placed this on the same level as the Vietnam war!”

My friend shook his head, “I know. That guy has ruined his career forever.”

We have no idea how events will affect an individual. Some brush it off, others are scarred for the rest of their lives. I was very disturbed by the incident but I do not rank it anywhere near the traumatic events of my life-the deaths of my parents, my daughter’s health crisis. At the same time, I respect the perspectives of others and its differential impact upon their lives. 

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:16-17 (NKJV)

The greatest event in the history of the world was the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For forty days after His Resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to hundreds of witnesses including His remaining eleven disciples. Nearly everyone who was there that day on the mountain as He was about to ascend to Heaven had seen Him tortured and crucified on the Cross. They knew He was dead, and yet, here He was, alive and speaking to all of them. The proof was incontrovertible yet still, some doubted. 

The Bible does not go into further detail as to why some still doubted. Like the incident during my residency, everyone is affected differently by life changing events. Some may dismiss it, others are changed forever. Thanks be to God that I did not dismiss His invitation to confess and repent of my sins and declare Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. This day will always remain the most important and life changing event in my life. 

How will you respond to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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