I’d like to relax and read and travel this summer. Instead, I’ll be spending a lot of time with several people who live in the 1700′s and others who live in our current year.
In May, I attended a writers conference where I took classes, enjoyed the companionship of writer friends, and spoke with people in the Christian book publishing community. I didn’t go to the conference to pitch a book. No, this year I went to learn and enjoy and relax.
In spite of my effort to not speak about the book I’m writing, editors I met asked what I was writing. Reluctantly, I told them about “the book,” stressing that it’s not completed. Lack of completion didn’t concern them; they want to see the manuscript. Uh, the manuscript that is currently part on paper and part in my head.
In order to put the entire book on paper, I must spend the summer writing daily. Which means that there will be less time for me to write SOAR WITH EAGLES articles. It even feels sad to say this because I simply love to write for you.
Although I’ll be writing fewer summer articles, I’m hoping to periodically post book reviews for published authors who have become my friends. After all, summer is a great time for laying back and reading books that grab us and transport us to places and times we’d never be able to visit otherwise. Um, unless you’re writing one of those books.
What are your plans? Will you have time to relax and read? Traveling anywhere? Expecting company? Projects calling your name?
Wherever you go, whatever you do, enjoy your summer days. The Lord makes each one especially for you.
I’m missing you already.
“Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits.” Psalm 68:19a.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Cynthia Howerter © 2012
The medical school graduation I attended recently put me in the company of giants – extraordinary people who refuse to quit no matter what their situation may be. Dr. Robert’s story is one I will never forget.
While my family and I were in our hotel room getting dressed for graduation, an alarm sounded. Fearing it might be a fire, my husband left the room to check into the matter and returned ashen-faced. A man several rooms down the hall from us had experienced a severe heart attack. Paramedics and police were swarming the hallway.
We began praying for the man and his family, not knowing who they were or the purpose of their visit.
After the alarm stopped and the ambulance and police left the hotel, we stepped into the elevator along with three women for the ride to the lobby. It was obvious the women, in dress clothes, were struggling for composure. The older woman turned to the younger two and said, “Are you alright?” They barely nodded, shock engraved on their pale faces.
I asked if they were the family of the gentleman who had suffered the heart attack. They were. We learned that the gentleman had died and, worse, that he was the father of one of the graduating medical school students.
Two hours. If the gentleman had lived only two more hours, he would have watched his son graduate from medical school and officially become a doctor.
This dad was present for the birth of his son. This father guided his offspring through childhood, watched him graduate from high school and college, and then saw his boy pursue his dream of being a physician, only to miss the moment when his son was hooded and declared “Dr. Robert” by two hours. One hundred and twenty minutes.
Inside their hotel room, Robert began emergency life-saving procedures on his father while another family member called paramedics. But neither Robert nor the paramedics could save him. It was simply the father’s time to pass from this world into the next.
The father’s wife and three sons were devastated and in indescribable shock. Numerous family members had traveled hundreds of miles to watch their son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin graduate from medical school. A trip that began with joy and anticipation ended suddenly with horror and disbelief.
What would most people have done in this situation once their husband/father/son/brother/uncle passed on? Would they have stayed in their hotel rooms and skipped the ceremony, too consumed with grief to attend graduation?
Not Robert’s family.
As the paramedics wheeled the father’s body into the ambulance, the grieving family quickly held a meeting. They had a singularity of focus and were in complete agreement: the family had come here for one purpose, that of watching Robert graduate from medical school.
They all knew that Robert’s father would not want them to quit. Not now. He would insist that every one of them attend Robert’s graduation, the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice.
So, dressing up, putting on brave faces, arms intertwined for support, the entire family arrived on time at the graduation hall and watched Robert become Dr. Robert.
On stage as Robert was hooded and declared a doctor of medicine, I realized that God was giving me the privilege of watching extraordinary people. People with the ability to continue in the face of heart-breaking adversity where so many others would quit.
Every person in that graduation hall who knew what had transpired shortly before the ceremony comprehended that they were in the company of magnificent human beings. Giants among mortals.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Cynthia Howerter © 2012Read More
Recently, I attended a medical school graduation. I’ve been attending various graduation ceremonies for years, but this particular occasion was different. I realized, you see, that I was in the company of giants – that is, people who do not fit the norm, people who excel where others would have given up. Allow me to introduce Dr. Greg and his parents to you.
Greg’s parents told me that they always knew their son was very bright. As a toddler, he had a vocabulary usually seen in older children and could build intricate structures using a variety of wood shapes.
When Greg started elementary school, he began to struggle academically. His mother worked regularly with him, teaching him to read and comprehend words.
By the time Greg was in middle school, he read fluently and accurately out loud. However, even though he was an A student, it took him hours each night to complete his assignments. Concerned, Greg’s mom spoke to his teachers who told her not to be troubled because his grades were so good.
In high school, once again Greg achieved excellent grades, but continued to spend long hours each night completing his assignments. A school psychologist said nothing was wrong.
Although Greg’s college grades were excellent and usually qualified him for the Dean’s List, he told his parents that he struggled to complete his reading assignments on time. It was apparent to all three that the unusually long hours that Greg needed to spend studying were taking a physical toll on him.
Intent on finding the cause of Greg’s struggles, his parents sent him to various experts, but only one found a problem. That specialist’s written report said that Greg’s IQ was so low that he had no business being in college. In fact, the specialist said Greg would be unable to handle the coursework and would never graduate from college.
Upon reading the report, Greg’s parents knew the specialist was wrong. Knowing the information would devastate their son, they shredded the document and told their son that the specialist verified what they had known all along: Greg was very bright and should pursue his dreams.
Greg graduated from his top-rated college with a high grade-point average. Yet Greg and his parents knew something wasn’t quite right. Why did it take Greg so long to do the required reading for his courses? They still had no answer.
Pursuing his goal to become a doctor, Greg was accepted into seven medical schools – his grades and credentials were that good. But almost immediately, Greg’s problem resurfaced; he struggled to read quickly. As Greg stated, “Once the material is in my head, I own it. The problem is getting it there quickly.”
Greg’s mother, nearly beside herself with frustration and helplessness, spoke with the secretary of a doctor who worked with college students. She cried as she explained that her son was incredibly smart but for some unknown reason struggled with reading. The secretary listened, then said that she knew what was wrong with Greg: Attention Deficit Disorder.
At first, Greg’s mom didn’t believe it, but after the secretary described several symptoms, Greg’s mom knew that she was hearing the name of her son’s monster. An appointment was made with the doctor who conducted a thorough evaluation and diagnosed Greg with ADD. Greg’s lifelong monster was about to be slain.
Now on medication, Greg could read quickly for the first time in his life. He threw himself into his coursework, reading at breakneck speed and no longer experiencing exhaustion at trying twice as hard as others to read assignments. The chains that had held Greg back throughout his entire life were finally broken. His monster lay defeated.
“Only a brilliant person could have come this far without the right intervention,” the doctor told Greg and his parents.
Upon hearing Greg’s story at graduation, I realized that most people would have given up years before. How many similarly afflicted kids have given up trying to learn while in grade school?
Greg had a dream to become a doctor from the time he was a young boy and that ambition had such a firm hold on him that he never considered letting go of it.
He also had parents who believed in him unconditionally, even when an “expert” said their son did not have what it takes to succeed.
Dr. Greg is a humble man who gives all the credit to the Lord for guiding him through overwhelming difficulties. He is also quick to praise his parents and sister whose love and support were unconditional and unwavering. Kissing and hugging his family after the graduation ceremony, he told them that, but for them and God, he wouldn’t be standing before them, a doctor.
I thought about the kind of doctor Greg will be. Because of the suffering and frustration he experienced for so many years, Dr. Greg can’t help but be compassionate and sympathetic to his patients. He certainly won’t give up on them when their bodies don’t respond normally to treatment. You see, he wrote the book on perseverance.
No, Dr. Greg is going to be there, fully and completely, for each of his patients for as long as he practices medicine.
I want a doctor like Greg. Don’t you?
“This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Cynthia Howerter © 2012Read More