Thursday, September 07, 2006

What about forgiveness?

My OB/GYN is not only my doctor but I would consider him to be a good friend to me and Jeremy both. I have known him since I was nineteen years old. Actually before I knew him, my step-sister worked for him and he delivered my nephew and niece. We figured this out later on but my parents can actually say that my Doctor has delivered all of their grandbabies. Kind of cool! When I was single I attended the same church as him and his family. While I was attending the church I sang on the vocal team. Every single time I sang a solo, my Doctor and his son, who was only six or seven years old at the time, would walk up and say how much they enjoyed my song. Back then I did not know that this man was a doctor! In fact, I called him by his first name! He played basketball in the sports ministry and I would see him there all the time while I was volunteering at the games. His family came to every game and they always spoke to me and seem to really be interested in me as a person. It was during that time I began to volunteer in the youth and I got to know their daughters. Since I was single, his daughters and the Pastor's daughter would sometimes spend the night at my apartment. I took them to do silly things like drive by the Four Seasons Hotel where the Backstreet Boys were staying and scope out the parking lot trying to find their tour bus. By this time I knew that their Dad was a Doctor. Not just any doctor but an OB/GYN! Being the lonely single gal that I was, I even got to join his family for dinner a couple of times. I loved spending time with them! I loved his kids, his wife and felt blessed to know them.

I had never been to the Gynecologist before. I was almost twenty one years old and I knew that I needed to have my first exam. This was terrifying to me. I found out that a ton of women in the church including many of the Pastor's wives used him as their doctor. His wife even encouraged me to use him as my doctor. At first I felt weird but my appointment went great! During my exam he began to tell the nurse about my singing. He told her that his seven year old son had a crush on me. He did everything he could to not allow me to feel uncomfortable. And now, ten years later, he is still my Doctor and I would never change!

But a lot has changed. My Doctor is no longer married to the same person. He went through a terrible, nasty, very public divorce. His name was slaughtered among church members and as you might guess, he no longer attends that particular church. I left when I was still single but continued to talk to him and his girls and also remained a patient. He has always been honest and has never proclaimed to be the perfect one through the divorce that happened several years ago. I know he isn't perfect and I know that he has made some mistakes but I also know more than that. I know the other side of the story. I know more than just the gossip that went on. The best account almost always comes from the children and the children adore their father. All three lived with him instead of their mother. Since the kids were living with him, his parenting was criticized, his reputation, his practice. Those patients of his that went to the church quit coming. But not all of them! Actually, almost every single time I am in the waiting room at his office, I see an old church member waiting to see him. And guess what? They still go the the same church! So not everyone gave up on him. Some decided to look beyond his mistakes, some decided to look beyond the sin and realized that they may not have all the facts. For only one fact remains, he's the best darn OB/GYN in the metroplex!

About a year ago I was attending a weekend retreat for a home business I was a part of. While attending the retreat I was surrounded by many women that went to the church my Doctor and myself used to attend. One of the ladies found out that I still went to him and that my kids were delivered by him. She began to tell me that she used to go to him but after all that happened she switched. At the point I knew I was not going to like the conversation but she took it a step further. She encouraged me to switch and also said some pretty bad things about him. The things being said about him had nothing to do with his professional career. No one said he wasn't a good doctor! It was all about his personal life. I decided to tell this woman that there are two sides to every story but by her response I knew she did not like hearing me say that. The subject was dropped and I continued being a patient of my Doctor. Right around the same time my husband and I were out to dinner with a couple that was a lot older than us. We had visited their church and even their Sunday School class. Through conversation we found out that my Doctor not only delivered my children but their children too. I was so excited! Their children were college age, mine were little. Wow. I was amazed at how popular my doctor was! As the conversation progressed, I soon found out that this woman had also quit using my Doctor. She was friends with a lady that was friends with my Doctor's ex-wife. I began to hear once again all kinds of stuff about my doctor. Horrible things! This time things were being said about him professionally that I knew were not true. You don't get the title "Chief of OB" at a Baylor hospital for nothing! So I ignored the comments and continued being his patient.

Two weeks ago I sat with my husband in an exam room after having a sonogram and talked with my Doctor. We didn't talk about the baby, the pregnancy or anything to do with my health. We talked about him. A few months ago he remarried. He has been with this sweet lady for years and his relationship with her has caused great controversy. His kids absolutely love her and not only is she his wife but his lead nurse. They have worked together for years and years. So you can see where the drama comes in. He told me that they have found a church that they really like and explained how hard it is to get over the pain of people shunning him. He not only lost a marriage but a church, friends and even patients. Many would say he brought it on himself but I would say that he is a man that made mistakes and needs God's forgiveness just like the rest of us!

How long do we make someone pay? How long do we have to talk about their sin? How long must we whisper about what we have "heard" or what we have "seen"? How long do we email back and forth about how we don't like someone? How long must we sit on the phone and murder with our tongues? What gives us the right to shred someone's reputation? Why is the church the biggest culprit of destroying one's character? Why do Godly women sit around and talk about things they have no business talking about? And what about Bible Studies and prayer requests? How often do we say "Well, I heard.." or "Well, I don't want to gossip, but..."?? The Bible says in Proverbs that even a fool can be found wise if his tongue is kept silent! But for some reason, we feel the need to talk about it. Get it out there, tell the world, kill someone with your words, talk about all the things you don't like! Isn't that what we do?

Just the other day I picked up the phone to call someone and tell them about something regarding another person. We sat for a few minutes and ripped the person apart. Later that day, the Holy Spirit showed me that my phone call was something that set itself up against all that God was creating in me. It was wrong! I knew that when I called this friend that my friend would listen and I knew she would agree with everything I was saying. It felt good, but only for a moment. It did not help, it did not fix anything, it was useless! God has been doing something new in me once again. Whenever He does, He spends a lot of time showing me some things that don't fit. Gossip or saying negative things is one that I truly want to be overly sensitive to. I really want to be one of those people that those around me would NEVER EVER feel comfortable gossiping to. I want them to think, "Wow. I have never heard Amanda say one bad thing about anybody!" That's the kind of woman I want to be!

I sure love my Doctor. I love him as a person and friend too. Who am I to sit back and judge? Instead I have spent many hours praying for him and for his decisions. I love his children and I pray that they can come away from all of this divorce, church crap and gossip knowing that it doesn't matter what everyone says about you. Instead of talking bad about him, I chose to stand by him even when he was wrong. Isn't that what being a Christian is all about? How long do we have to make someone pay? Christ already covered their sin, He has forgiven them! Shouldn't we?

9 comments:

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

That is difficult to do sometimes. I know it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut at times and not discuss issues that someone does not need to know about another person. I am doing much better though, but like you said it can be hard. Thanks for the reminder.

Paula said...

Amanda, Very well put!! WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE!! How long should it last?? I think people who gossip and are contstantly putting others down with their judgement have to feel bad about their selves. Otherwise they would be working on their own sin and leaving others to their own!!

Kate said...

Great post! We all have planks in our eyes and need to work on ourselves and let God be the judge of others. Gossip can just tear hearts apart. My radar is set to being aware of how people I know speak of others because that is how they are most likely going to speak about me behind my back. I love the way you write! God is using you girl!

Wendy said...

Great post! This reminded me of the verse in Proverbs 'where words are many, sin is not absent.'

mommyofangels said...

Wow, I too struggle with this. I bad mouth people who really make me mad, mostly just to my husband. Eventhough I don't spread it around I'm still in the wrong, because if that "friend" was standing there, I wouldn't say the things that I do. I'm still "under construction".

Ched said...

Interesting thoughts.

Gwen said...

Wow! Great post Amanda! I too needed this reminder right now! Thank you!

Kellie said...

This was just a truthful real post. I love how you are teaching us and how sensitive you are to the leadership you give. Great lady, this post has made me think and I have alot to search out.

Dee said...

AMEN!!! It is easier to "badmouth" someone than to drop to our knees and share it with the Father. Well - not really, but I think sometimes we just need something to talk about.. I agree with Paula that those who badmouth others, often have low self esteem themselves.. however, that is NO excuse. We are to shine His light, not mess up the path for those who aren't yet Christians. Yet another AWESOME post, Amanda!