This month’s submission comes from Dr. Jim Trippi, an early board member of the Spiritual Renewal Center who now serves as a cardiologist in Indianapolis.
“I just don’t feel so good,” he said when he came to the Gennesaret Free Clinic mobile unit in downtown Indianapolis. I was the volunteer physician that day, and our small staff included our driver Phil, and his sweet wife Erin who distributed sundry hygiene items to the dozens of persons who lined up to receive what we all take for granted. It was my privilege to watch this scene unfold.
He said his feet and back hurt and then he started crying in the privacy of the exam room. I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that guys like this are some of God’s favorites. When I asked him if he had been drinking and smoking too much, he nodded. I offered ibuprofen for the back aches and asked to see his feet. He seemed reluctant, saying I would not want to see them because he did not have access to a bathroom. I persisted and found feet that had not seen a bar of soap in too long. “Let’s scrub up those feet and get you some clean socks.” We had hundreds of pairs weeks ago, so I thought there must be a few left. But none were found in any of the usual hiding places. I said a little prayer for this sorry guy. Then, with apologies I told him that we would just have to put his dirty old socks back on. That’s when Phil rushed in, “Look, I just found a pair of new socks! It must be the last pair.” This “sudden finding” of needed supplies has happened so many times – you would think I would learn to expect that God would provide for his loved ones.
My patient promised that he was really going to take better care of himself. I do hope so. As he exited the vehicle, Erin said, “We love you.”