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"Physician, Heal Thyself"
Sam Hassenbusch can tell you something about being both a physician and a patient. In the current edition of Texas Monthly, Jan Reid has an article on Hassenbusch called, “Physician, Heal Thyself.” As Reid describes him:
But when Sam couldn’t overcome his persistent headaches with Tylenol, he scheduled an MRI. It was when they found glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor that is one of the most aggressive of all human cancers. Says Reid:
He knew he had a three percent chance of five years’ survival. But he also knew that God would provide for him. Again, from the article:
The surgery went well, and within a week he was back at work and within two weeks he was back on his motorcycle. Reid says, "After he’d gone through the rounds of radiation and initial chemotherapy, he decided that he would keep his head shaved. He thought it enhanced his look as a biker."
Sam has actually become a “lab rat” for a new postsurgical option that he himself proposed, combining a chemotheraphy drug called Temodar with an experimental vaccine. From the article: "Conceivably, the experiment could shorten his life, but the research opportunity was almost unparalleled. In addition to giving him a chance to fight the disease, it would enable him to become a part of his own medical team, to inhabit the roles of both patient and doctor in the same case."
So far so good, he says: “This observation from my blood tests on my white cells raises a whole new way that Temodar could be used to treat patients and even crosses over to a possible breakthrough in the treatment of patients with other kinds of tumors. Such is the fun of undergoing double-whammy treatment for the first time in humans with brain cancer.”
As a ministry leader, never forget that you will always be a spiritual patient as well as a spiritual physician. We never get to the point where we won’t have our own issues to deal with, our own knots to untangle, and our own dragons to slay. Even as we see after the soul health of those we lead, we have to see after our own soul, too.
This mentality has a number of benefits. For one, it keeps us from falling into the traps that have caught so many leaders who teach the Word but fail to rigorously monitor their own flaws. Also, openness about the fact that we’re still getting “treatment” from the Great Physician ourselves makes us more effective with those we lead. Someone said that we may be able to impress people from afar, but we’ll only influence people up close. And the only way we can get close with people is to be honest with them about who we really are.
“Praise be . . . to the God of all comfort,” Paul wrote in
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