Wednesday, August 25, 2010



Hang around an operating room long enough and you will get to enjoy hearing some surgical bravado. Before I give you some specific examples, I need to set the the scene a little. Usually these little ditties come out between 0400-0500 when we have been operating for twenty hours straight. The general surgery clerk arrives in the OR to report yet another emergency case to be booked. Rather than openly admit what everyone in the operating room is secretly yearning, namely, to finish this current operation and go to bed even for a few hours, someone will drop one of these lines. You know what is left of the night is going to be a “no sheeter” (you won’t see your bed) and these lines ceremonial seal the deal so to speak. Before you get too uptight these are for the most part said in jest except from the most junior surgical trainees who don’t know any better yet. So with that background I provide you with the following examples: “The only problem with 1 in 2 call is you miss half the good cases” or maybe “The only way to heal is with cold hard steel”. Perhaps my favourite is “A chance to cut is a chance to cure”. There is a certain hint of truth in this last comment and although it is usually delivered with some swagger and sleep-deprived machismo, the hint of truth remains. There are some conditions that require cutting to cure.

Hebrews 4:12 says the following...
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The fallen, sinful human is precisely a patient that requires a cut to cure. God in his mercy first choses to operate on us in our helpless sinful state and continues to operate on us throughout our sanctification. What does He use as his surgical instrument? His living and active word. Every time we are exposed to the living active word of God, that word is piercing, dividing and discerning our intentions. If preaching of the word is an opportunity for God to operate, then consider the following. No surgeon operates with inferior equipment given his choice. Preaching that does not utilizes the word of God as its primary instrument, is using inferior equipment. I don’t know if the author of Hebrews knew much about orthopedic surgery but dividing joints and marrow is pretty nasty business requiring saws, drill bits and reamers - and all of them are sharp! You can’t separate joints and marrow with a soup spoon. Likewise, God can’t change lives with opinions, witty anecdotes, platitudes, good intentions, emotional appeals or even surgical bravado. He still changes lives by his living and active word. A chance to cut is a chance to cure.

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