Years ago -- it might have been around 1993 -- one of my friends pointed to my forehead and suggested that I have doctor look at a little spot. I hadn't consciously thought about it, but I did scratch it quite often. I told John that it was nothing and I won't worry about it.
A month later, John informed me that down the road a team of medical personnel were giving free medical checkups, majoring in cancer. Okay, it was only a five-minute walk to get there, and I could be back on the job in a half hour, so I went.
Would you believe it? The nurse looked at my forehead and told me, "Go see a dermatologist within the week. And do not put it off!" When I returned to my workstation, I looked up that big word: dermatologist. Hmmmm ... Sounds interesting.
I told my Precious Carol about it after work, and she endorsed the nurse's order.
Dr. Robert Thomsen's secretary sounded quite pleasant on the phone, and she assured me that Dr. Thomsen was one of the best dermatologists in the state of New Mexico, if not in the country. About two weeks later I entered the Los Alamos Medical Center and located Dr. Thomsen's office.
"Good morning, Dr. Robert. Do you know that Jesus loves you?"
Dr. Thomsen paused, smiled and responded, "Yes, I know He loves me."
"Do you love Him back?"
Laughing gently, "Yes, I do. I suppose you're a Christian."
My turn to chuckle, "I sure am!" and we finished our introduction with a hug -- right there in his office.
After a few minutes of getting to know each other, which set the foundation for a friendship that is still alive today, Brother Thomsen suggested that he look at this spot on my forehead. He lowered a 4-inch diameter magnifying glass that was fastened to his head and looked closely.
After about 30 seconds, he backed up, looked directly at my face, and said, "That spot is what I call precancerous, and needs to be removed soon." That was a surprise which set off a chain reaction of thoughts going around in my little mind.
After about a 5-second wait, he asked, "What just happened?"
"Brother Thomsen, I've always had the feeling that I'm going to live a long time. I even tell my kids that I'll live to be 135. But when I heard your words, a huge wave of JOY flooded my soul, and I fully realized that I really AM going to get to see Jesus!"
Dr. Thomsen chuckled again. "I wish all of my patients responded that way. That kind of reaction would help them live a lot longer. However, I'm going to cooperate with your wife and do everything I can do to keep you here for a long time."
We both laughed, and he prepared to remove the infamous little spot on my forehead. For many years, it looked like I got hit in the forehead with a pellet from a B-B gun.
A few years later when I was asked to become the pastor of a church in northern New Mexico, I asked Dr. Thomsen if he would speak to our congregation. When he reminded me that he was Lutheran, I happily reminded him that I don't view denominational differences as a problem. So he spoke for us. I still have my copy of the handout he offered everyone.
Time passed. Carol and I moved to Siloam Springs, Ark., and Dr. Thomsen retired. Now Dr. Roger Youmans has the chore of prolonging my stay on earth, and he's doing a great job. I highly recommend Dr. Youmans.
What would have happened if I had not taken John's advice to get a checkup? I might have already left this life for my home in heaven. But God has a job for each of us to fulfill and, apparently, I haven't completed my job yet. And God wants us to take care of ourselves so we can do our job with joy and gladness.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
My job is to live for the Lord, honor Him in everything I do, and tell people about Jesus.
So, dear reader, Do You know that Jesus Loves you?
-- S. Eugene Linzey is the author of 'Charter of the Christian Faith.' Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.