Saturday, August 11, 2012

Did You Really Know What You Were Doing?

Daniel (by the way, I don't usually use real names) is a young man who came in yesterday with a broken arm and a small laceration under one eye. He had been beaten up by someone using a piece of pipe or metal rod. I didn't ask what the dispute had been about. There was a heavy odor of alcohol on his breath. I don't know if drinking had been involved at the time of the fight, or if he had been
drinking afterwards to try to ease the pain.

He needed a cast on his arm, and a few stitches under his eye. The fracture was a bit out of alignment, and I wanted to try to straighten it a bit before placing the cast, so I gave him a dose of a sedative, stopping to pray briefly for him before I gave the injection. People are often still able to talk while sedated, sometimes to the great amusement of all those who hear, but they seldom can remember the events. I wasn't surprised that Daniel carried on a conversation with his relative, and I explained to the family that he wouldn't remember it. I was surprised, however, when he turned his head toward me and said "I want you to pray for me, and I want to repent." Whoa! I've heard people say some pretty unexpected things while sedated, but never this. I assumed that he didn't really know what he was saying, and that he certainly wouldn't remember it afterwards.

But what could I do? I continued working on the cast, and I prayed for him, and then led him is a simple prayer of confession and repentance. He followed me word-for-word.

I finished the cast, put a couple of little stitches in the laceration under his eye, wrote for some meds and sent him on his way, telling him to come back in the morning for a follow-up x-ray. In the evening I shared with the missionaries at our weekly prayer meeting what had happened. This morning I was thinking about him, and worrying when it was late in the morning and I still hadn't seen him. Finally, just before noon, there he was at the door of my exam room with his x-ray in his hand.

I got him into the exam room, and settled on the table. The first thing I said was, "yesterday you asked me to pray with you and said that you wanted to repent."


"But you were drunk, and I'd given you the medicine to make you sleepy."


"Do you remember that?"


"Did you sincerely repent?"


Praise God!

Daniel had more to tell me, though.

"When I got home yesterday, all the brothers [that includes cousins, uncles, nephews and people who aren't sure exactly how they are related, but are part of the family and about the same age] were talking about going and beating up the guys that did this to me. I told them 'no', that I'm a Christian now, and I don't want to do things like that."

In this culture, that is a strong sign that a person is determined to follow Christ. He was saying in short, "I'm putting Christian values ahead of the demands of my culture and family. That's a big step for a highlander.

Please pray for "Daniel". There are other Christians in his family, and they are involved in a local evangelical church. Pray that the church and family will faithfully disciple him, and pray that he will grow in his faith. Pray for his unsaved relatives, that they will see his example and want to follow him in repentance.


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