DRESSING DOWN

Bruce Leibert, M.D.

During Holy Week, a friend and patient was emergently hospitalized for the first time in his life.  His supra-ventricular tachycardia (SVT) hit with a vengeance.  His pulse was 180.  His anxiety level was through the roof.  His fear titre was 1:4000.

His Troponin was mildly elevated at 0.1ng/ml.  His ECG did not show any acute changes.  His echocardiogram was normal.  There was no obvious trigger for the SVT episode.

He checked his pillbox that his wife brought to the hospital for him.

He had forgotten to take his anti-arrhythmic for three days.  On day four the SVT broke loose.

I sat on the side of the hospital bed examining my tall friend in the undersized hospital gown.  “I forgot to tie up the backside of my gown,” he stated.  “The nurses were waving at me as I walked down the hall.  I wondered what they were making all the fuss about.”  He paused.  “Then I felt the breeze and realized that I had mooned the entire hospital staff.  That was embarrassing, but forgetting my medicine was the worst.  It is my fault that I am in this bed, in this place.”  He shook his head.  “I’ve been stripped down, told to go where, when to go, how to go.  I have lost all my dignity.  And it’s all my fault.”

As he spoke, I saw a crowd gathering outside the home of the governor.  They were yelling something.  I strained to hear it: “Crucify him!  Crucify him!”

“Behold the man!” the governor spoke as two soldiers brought out a prisoner, draped in a purple robe, wearing a circlet of thorns.

“I’ve been stripped down.”

“I’ve been told where to go.”

“I have lost all my dignity.”

My friend and I looked at each other and realized that he had been describing our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, during the time of His arrest and trial.

“It was all my fault,” I thought to myself.  “My sin, my shame…my fault, not His.”

“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Living God could turn my friend’s medication error into a time of true worship through a sense of sharing in the humiliation of Jesus Christ.

My friend has recovered beautifully and has risen from his sick bed to active life and service.  He is now sharing in the resurrection celebration of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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