I’ve spent the last two weeks with a visiting physician couple here at the hospital. Dr. K.E. is a general surgeon and his wife, Dr. Leya is a pediatrician. Their original home is India; their home for the last 30 years is in the Deep South, not far from mine. They have three grown children and are within a few months of retirement age. They have a rich Christian heritage and have themselves been devoted followers of Jesus for many, many years.
For the last two weeks Dr. K.E. and I have spend a great deal of time together—doing rounds early in the morning, seeing the sick in clinic, sharing our thoughts on complicated patients and assisting each other in difficult surgeries. They have been guests for dinner in our home; they have made us Cajun gumbo in theirs’. I have watched Dr. K.E. respond to the daily frustrations we all face, I have watched him interact with the staff of the hospital, I have watched him take care of patients and their families, and I have watched him as he has processed life for the last two weeks here at Tenwek.
And there is something distinctly different about K.E. He is one of the most grateful people that I have ever met—an unstoppable gratitude, in every situation finding something to be thankful for. When you are around him there is an absolute peace, a calmness that nothing seems to disturb, a joy that is always just below the surface, which bubbles up so naturally—in an effortless smile, through his gentle touch, with the kindness that you can see in his eyes. And everywhere he goes he “ministers” this peace and joy to everyone he comes in contact with. He is one of the kindest men I have ever met—to the staff he is so complimentary and encouraging, to his patients he is so caring and compassionate, to his co-workers and peers he is so affirming and supportive. Even though he is an excellent surgeon with 35 years of experience, even though he has great wisdom and great judgment when it comes to difficult clinical situations, there isn’t an ounce of arrogance in K.E.—he deflects any praise to One he serves. I watched him as he secretly slipped small gifts into the hands of those he worked with—a book, a pen, or something else of meaning—small gifts from a very generous heart.
As I thought about K.E., I realized what makes him so distinctly different–he has been walking with Jesus for a long, long time. The fruit has taken root and grown and now looks just like the tree. The branch looks just like the vine. The child looks just like the father. He is being changed into the image of his Savior—and after walking with Him for all these years, He looks more and more like Jesus and less and less like K.E. And just like there was something powerfully attractive about the presence of the Son of God on this earth 2000 years ago, there is still something powerfully attractive about the presence of Jesus in a man or woman today. K.E. is living proof of that. And I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet him, spend time with him and be challenged by his example.
Take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you. Ephesians 4 Message Bible