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9/15/16 at 02:20 PM 0 Comments

Finding Faith

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“I don’t know.”

“I will never know.”

“Perhaps I am lost.”

“Perhaps I have fallen.”

These are the words of a German doctor, Mr. Winston. He had found himself in a depressiveness that lasted four years after a considerably terrible mistake. Mr. Winston was viewed as a great man with many friends and fantastic wealth and a man of faith. He was a strong example of a Christian. He attended church every Sunday, loved all people, fed the homeless, and did all he could to be a splitting image of the teachings of Christ. Upon an unfortunate turn of events in which he created, Winston lost his confidence for his devoted spiritual path. He felt hopeless and lost. He went throughout the days in mourn for how gravely he disappointed God. Winston still gathered amongst the congregation, but no matter how fine the service would go or how many private sessions he booked with the pastor, he would always be met by a sense of failure as he beset his spirit with gloom. His spark of hope was no more. It is amazing how much a downfall can consume one’s internal being. It is amazing the days one can spend pondering on what could have been done correctly, and how much they long for a chance to do it over again.

On a Thursday morning, Winston was at his office. He’d have many patients for the day, so he overviewed files as he prepared for the long hours. His first patient was a man dealing with cancer. The second, a middle age woman with foot problems and the third was a cyclist who experienced a bicycle accident. Winston had reached his twelfth patient. This was an elderly woman. She had shining silver hair, wore a cashmere coat with a silver bracelet embedded with 7 diamond crosses around it. She carried a certain dignity about herself that made her seem like a kind, loving person. Indeed she was. Her name was Caroline Heffenburg.

“What seems to be the problem, Mrs. Heffenburg?” asked Mr. Winston

“Well, Doctor, I’ve been having back pain as of late. It seems as if I cannot stand past twenty minutes without my back hurting. I suppose old age is the problem? Ha!”

Caroline looked up at Mr. Winston to see him inattentive to what she was saying. He then sighed heavily as he looked off into the window of the room.

“Doctor?”, Caroline inquired

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Ma’am,” he said.

“Is there something wrong, dear?”

Winston told her no because he did not desire to discuss his personal problems with a patient. He would have preferred to keep his feelings unspoken, but Caroline persisted.

“Are you sure? From the gloom in your eyes, you seem very sad,” she said

“With all due respect, Ma’am, I’d rather not discuss my sentiments.”

“I’m an old woman who has been through many things in life. Perhaps I can help if you’ll allow me to hear the reason for your sadness.”

Winston hesitated for a moment. Did this elderly woman really want to hear the story of Winston’s self-pity? Did she really want to know about the sin that oppressed him? With ounces of both certainty and uncertainty inside him, he told Caroline everything – his major mistake, how he felt far from God, and the loneliness he encountered daily. He only told the important parts that would be just enough for Caroline to understand.

When he had finished she asked, “is that it, doctor?”. He said yes in a tone of sadness.

“And you consider yourself a believer, yes?” she asked

“Not a very good one,” he replied, “I truly did not mean to disappoint God. I truly didn’t. It was just…I was caught in the moment and-“

Caroline politely interrupted.

“Sweetheart, I believe you’ve gone about this the wrong way,” she said

“How so?”

“You’ve forgotten what the Bible says.”

“So you must be a Christian woman, then?”

“Yes”, she said, “now I need you to listen: I’ve made many mistakes and terrible risks in my life. Some of them caused regrets. Others caused me to lose something of value. I was your age – a mere girl when I fell from my faith, but one day I reminded myself of something…”

“And what was that, Ma’am?” he asked.

“Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up.”

“Oh, I love that scripture.”

“Then you should try living it. Get back up, doctor.”

“But my faith has–“

Again, Caroline politely interrupted him. She told him that Faith is an act of love. We are to love God, indeed, but he never told us to neglect ourselves.

“I believe it is time for you to forgive yourself, Doctor. And each day you need to realize that the flow of brand new mercies is open to you every morning. That, above all, should be the fuel to your hope. God has already forgiven you. Now, you must do the work and forgive yourself for carrying unnecessary burdens.”

The words of Caroline Heffenburg lead Mr. Winston to grace. After that day he received a new passion for his faith and, just as equal, himself. He realized that God was always near – it was simply his own thoughts that made it seem otherwise. Winston had finally found the beauty of redemption.

– Finding Faith, by Caleb J. Dexter †

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