"ER", "Casualty", "Grey's Anatomy", "Holby City"… I normally just don't 'get' these hospital dramas. But my wife loves them all. However, I did watch one recently called Casualty 1906. I think what intrigued me was that the stories were closely based on over 100 year-old records from the London Hospital (still there today in Whitechapel, London).
I learned that back in 1909, life expectancy was 45 and that 1 in 7 children died by the age of 5! This was 40 years before the NHS and without any antibiotics, infection was the great unstoppable killer. Back then, the London Hospital was famous for its pioneering use of X Rays. One of these early radiographers was Ernest Wilson (see photo of actor below, where his fingers have been made to resemble those with radiation burns).
As a result of using his hands to calibrate the X Ray machine every time it was used, over the months and years Ernest had to have most of his fingers amputated, later on his arms.
There was one thing that stood out here. This man knew the danger of the equipment he was using. Perhaps not at the very start but certainly when the radiation poisoning started to manifest itself on his skin. But he continued to pioneer the use of the machine since he understood how valuable it was in treating patients. A few years later Ernest lost his life to radiation sickness, yet many lives were saved due to his selfless sacrifice!
My mind drifted to a couple of areas which I wanted to share here:
X-ray radiation allowed doctors to 'see' inside the body, to peer at the heart of man. Although we can now peer more and more inside a human being, only the Lord can see what truly lies within…
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart… Jer 17:9-10
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Sam 16:7
I still notice that we all are very quick to judge people on the outward appearance. We would do well to remember that God looks at the heart!
Then I thought of that old adage…
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now. Let me not deter or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Ernest Wilson certainly left his mark on the world of Radiography and a plaque to the "X-Ray Martyrs" stands in the London Hospital today.
I finally thought of the ultimate selfless sacrifice which occurred over 2000 years ago…
And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die - I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
God sent His innocent son to die for a sinful human race. This free gift of salvation, through acceptance of His sacrifice and in our inability to save ourselves, is available to all who would humbly accept it.
I would like to end this month with both an acknowledgement of God's sacrificial love toward us and a reminder of what is expected of us in return
All glory to Jesus, begotten of God,
The great I AM is He;
Creator, sustainer - but wonder of all,
The Lamb of Calvary (Peterson)
"As for you,… know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 1 Chron 28:9
(All quotations are from the NASB)
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!