Entry 27 / Wish we had a picture

Love is a difficult thing to photograph

Sometimes we are privileged to get to see Bible stories come to life for us. In Italy, Tony and I were taken by our friend Francesco to see his family doctor in a suburb of Parma. She is a Christian doctor who warmly welcomed us in Italian and carried out her examination while Francesco and Mariela translated. For about two weeks prior, I had been experiencing symptoms related to inflammation in my lungs – coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath that always grew worse at night. As the doctor checked everything out, I was struck by her compassion and concern for me. She spent at least an hour with me and decided to give me a cortisone shot as well as two new prescriptions to try to alleviate some of my discomfort. As we were leaving we tried to pay her, but she refused. She said she wanted to bless us in Jesus’ name and would not hear of payment for her services. We reluctantly put our money away and headed out the door to take the prescriptions to the pharmacy to fill. Only after we drove away did we discover that she had put in enough cash in the envelope with the prescriptions to pay for them. In fact, we had money left over after they were filled! Our “Good Samaritan” doctor proved in such a practical way how God is looking after us on our trip and how He uses His body to minister to one another in Christian love. Once Tony and I got back from our side trip to Monterosso to celebrate our anniversary, I had to return to this same doctor to be checked again. Since my lungs had not improved, she gave me another cortisone shot and started me on some antibiotics. Again, no payment for the office call, and she provided the cash for my new prescriptions. It all seemed too much, too extravagant, according to worldly standards. But she saw it as a chance to lavish her love for Jesus on one of His own. How could we refuse her that joy? Others in Italy poured out their time and energy and resources on us while we were there … we especially thank Aldo and Mariela, Francesco and Alessia, Anna and Stefano. For them and for our Good Samaritan doctor, may they be encouraged by this Scripture: “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).

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