Daily Reflection for April 4, 2011

Is. 65:17-21 Jn. 4:43-54
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In my practice as a pediatrician, I will occasionally encounter a child who mystifies me—who does not have symptoms or problems that comprise a standard diagnosis. In such cases, I will consult with colleagues, research the findings I can discover, and even look for “zebras.” (A zebra is medicine is the diagnosis that is highly unlikely, from the saying, “When you hear hoof beats, don’t look for zebras.”)

When all this fails, I sit with parents and share how I feel. “I have done everything I can think of to figure out what’s going on with your child, and I have consulted with colleagues who are as smart as anyone in the world about these sorts of things. We don’t have an answer yet, but we will keep working to find an answer. And I have to tell you, I am very frustrated.” I then add, “But if that’s how I feel as her doctor, I can’t imagine what you, her parents, must be going through.”

In moments like this, I am mindful that being a healer means embracing our own woundedness and allowing a space for healing to occur that is beyond our comprehension.  I know that I am not the cause of cure but merely the conduit. All life, all healing come from God. And when we put this in His hands, the way becomes clear. For me, this is the true grace experience: When I take care of a child, I know I am exactly where I’m meant to be doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

Ken Haller, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics


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