Dear Lord in Heaven,
As You sit in your glorious throne room in magnanimous splendor, I come to you with utmost reverence to your place and stature in time and eternity. I thank you for hands that foster healing. I thank you for fearfully and wonderfully making the human body with its stark complexity and innate interconnectedness with and accommodation to all to which it is exposed.
Daily, you allow me, your humble servant, to see miracles made possible. As I stand in authority at the bedsides of multitudes, I give you all glory, all honor, and all due praise for you are the pre-eminent authority in my life. I thank you for your love. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you for your grace, that unmerited favor, despite my predilection to not do that which you have called me to do sometimes and to do that which you have not commanded to do oftentimes.
The affairs of this life are entangling, but I look to your beautiful Hills of love for consolation. With your comforting embrace you set me free.
The afflictions of my patients are many, but I pray for compassionate understanding of their individual and collective plights.
You are Love. Despite illness, you love. Despite physical and emotional hurt and heartache, you love. As you love, you help and you heal.
And I love you so much, because you loved me first and before I even knew what love was and was capable of being.
Be in me fully. Embody me, O God, and be.
Be in every aspect of my own body, as I strive with erudition and trained intuition to be your representative in physical and mental healing to the plagued one before me.
From exam room to your throne of grace, do hear our feeble , sometimes fearful, but fervent cry and call. Hear us, O Lord, and act. Heal, deliver, touch, and set us free from the seemingly inescapable bondage of death and disease. So many before me seek to die with so much ease.
I stand at houses of worship and of God in prayer for the patient you have to me so graciously given. As he places his life in my hands, I place my life in your hands. As she seeks my expertise for comfort, you, O God, are so omniscient. Your grace is sufficient, even with the survey of the wondrous cross I bear, and when my years wax ancient, on some days delineates that some times are not decent. Yet, Christ did not descent. He ascended and now sits at your right hand in purpose and power with my name in humility’s utterance to “forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they do.” The more I know, the more I know what I do not know. There are days when we do not know, in this profession, what we do, and those of us who know you go to our knees out of exasperation that we have nowhere else to turn.
So, as I live, I love you. As I breathe, with each breath I give you thanks.
You are my all, living and in life. You are my manifestation of all that is right and good in time in my life, but the race is not easy nor given to the swift or strong but to he or she who dares endure to the end. I will not pretend to know all the mysteries of eternity, but I know that you are real. I feel you all over and about me. Please watch over me, as this is my petition, as I walk daily through the valley of the shadow of death.
In times like these, you are needed, desired, and welcomed. Because you are, O Lord, I am.
-Earl Stewart, Jr., M.D. (2018)-