Last year was the first Christmas I celebrated in the new Hardin Valley office. I had wanted an office Christmas tree for years but that year my wife, who had decorated most of my office already, bought all the tree trimmings too. I don’t remember exactly whose idea it was, but instead of hanging the ornaments, we only hung the lights and placed the star.
We decided to invite my patients to hang an ornament as they came in for office visits during December. It was a huge success. This year, being the second year of our Christmas tree tradition, has been an even bigger blast. Patients from last year remembered and asked at the end of office visits if it was time to hang an ornament. Virtually every single patient has lit up with a smile and joyfully picked an ornament and its location with care.
Now, as we draw near to Christmas, I’m reminded how blessed I am in what God has called me to do. Several patients this week remarked that it was a little sad how my tree had so many ornaments. They saw each ornament as another sick patient, another broken life. While that is partly true (I do see plenty of ‘well’ patients though for various reasons), each ornament represents something else to me.
To me, every ornament represents another person or another family with whom I get to share their remarkable journey. Another person who felt broken or pained for whom I was privileged to be a part of the positive solution in their circumstance. By God’s grace, I am ushered into such deep personal stories, both heartaches and triumphs. I get to share the joy and the grief with so many. I am truly blessed to serve and care for these, my patients.
So I take this time, to thank the Lord for His provision in my life. This month happens to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of His call for me to be a physician. It was as clear as the sun in the sky or a father calling his child to action. I am utterly thankful I can experience some of the joy of following His call in my day to day work as I reflect on the abundance of ornaments on my tree.
Merry Christmas to all my patients. I wish you the most blessed of all times celebrating the birth of the Son of God.