Monday, September 23, 2013

Sarah Makes It Real

By John Gipson

    Sarah was young, beautiful, and she was going to die if she didn't get help.  That's why her parents brought her from Los Angeles to the Mayo Clinic.  She had cancer, and the only alternative seemed to be a hemipelvectomy, in which the entire leg and half of the pelvis would be removed-a horrible procedure.  The doctor looked upon this eighteen-year-old beauty with a perfectly proportioned body and "eyes that radiated innocence and trust."  Those eyes seemed to say, "You will cure me."  Dr. Michael J. Collins knew what a mutilation lay ahead and with only a 5 percent five-year survival.  He finally managed to haltingly say, "Sarah,.I.well, I'll do everything I can for you."  Sarah said, "I know you will.  Thank you."
    In his book, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Dr. Collins describes the horrible operation.  It was long and bloody.  Sarah's post-op was stormy.  She ran a fever for four days.  But the thing that impressed everybody at the clinic was how Sarah kept thanking everyone for what they were doing and apologizing for being such a bother."  Her nurse related that Sarah was sad about losing her leg, "but she says it's made her realize how many things she hasn't lost.  She says it's like a millionaire who loses a thousand dollars; he's sad, but he's still not that bad off."
     With that attitude and spirit of thankfulness, Sarah was adored by everyone at the Mayo Clinic.  Sadly, this lovely girl died within the year. There is a picture of her hanging in the clinic.  It is taken from the back. She is standing on a hill looking forward.
    Now, what was it I was complaining about? The Bible tells me, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
    Yes, the Bible says it, but Sarah makes it

- John Gipson, Little Rock, Ark.; via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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