My fellow resident shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe he wanted to extend his weekend?”
“Perhaps.” I was the chief resident and Jake was a star resident in our program. It would have been highly unlikely that he would have taken a day off without advance notice, without informing me. It was Monday morning at 10AM and his service began at 7:30 AM. I was about to page him when he quietly walked into the residents’ offices and sat down at his desk. I approached him and closed the door. “Everything okay? You’re never late.”
Jake nodded and mumbled, “Yeah…sorry. I was admitted to the hospital over the weekend.”
“What? Where? Here?”
“What was your diagnosis?”
“They thought it was a probable Mallory-Weiss tear.”
“What? But that means…”
“Oh, I see.”
A Mallory-Weiss tear may occur when a patient has a bout of retching, vomiting, or coughing. This increased intraabdominal pressure may damage the sensitive lining of the esophagus, leading to bleeding and a tear. While there can be many causes, the most common is an acute alcohol intoxication. In my co-resident’s case, this was the culprit. He later confided to me what I had already suspected, he had too much to drink leading to the episode. Understandably he was embarrassed as the gossip grapevine in the hospital was activated by his admission. We never spoke of the incident again but it always lingered in the background with all of our social events. It followed him throughout his training and even after residency.
When our secret sins are exposed, if only a few know, we may be able to withstand the shame. With others, like Jake, too many know and we may not be able to recover from the exposure. Yet, there is someone who always knows our deepest and darkest sins.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)
We may be able to withstand the shaming by others, but shouldn’t we fear God’s judgment more? Only God knows every sin we have or ever will commit. We deserve to be punished even if our sins are never revealed to others. Yet God, in His mercy, sent His Son Jesus Christ to be our substitute for this punishment. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will receive forgiveness and salvation.
Just because no one or only a few know of our sins, it can never be an excuse before God. God is not mocked. The only way we can break the terrible cycle of sin and its consequences is through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.