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Faith Memoir

I went to my local ophthalmologist for the second time and when he looked at my eye, he said, “Kendrick, this is not the same eye I saw two weeks ago.” He then told me this was out of his scope of practice and referred me to someone more skillful than him. At this time I knew something was terribly wrong by the look on his face and the sense of urgency for me to get a CT scan and MRI. My wife then drove me to the doctor he referred me to. By that time my vision was getting worse. This doctor’s name was Dr. Carter. He looked at my eye and said that something was terribly wrong. He then did a vision test. He turned off the light and put letters up. The first letter was the largest letter that they test with and it was the letter “E”. I didn’t know how large it was until my wife told me after the exam because she was in the room. Needless to say I could not see that letter. Dr. Carter immediately told me that I needed to go to Newton Medical Center and that he was ordering a CT scan and MRI for me. My wife rushed me over to the hospital and that is when I received my first denial. The lady sitting at the registration desk told me that because I didn’t have any medical insurance that I would have to pay for the scan out of pocket. I told her that I didn’t have thousands of dollars in my account to pay for it and she said there was nothing else she could do at that point. I then left out of the hospital distraught, confused, angry and afraid because I had a condition and didn’t have the resources to find out what was wrong. As we walked out of the hospital, my wife was walking behind me and I could remember walking ahead with tears running down my face I jumped into the car and slammed the door. I didn’t want her to see me this way. I pounded on the steering wheel and cried out to God and He heard me. Psalm 3:4 says, I cried unto the LORD with my voice and he heard me out of His holy hills.  While I was still in the parking lot the Holy Spirit directed me to call back and speak with a higher authority. The lady over the phone instructed me to go directly through the emergency room, and she also introduced me to a person who is going to change my life for the better. This man may have been Chief Executive Officer of the hospital or he may have been a board member; in any event he was able to direct the next steps with firmness and authority. I  needed a CT scan and a functional MRI in order for anyone to be able to diagnose me correctly, but I had no money. The man, whatever his position was, told me, “Well, get yourself up a couple hundred dollars and we`ll just to get started if you wait until you have all the resources there’s going to be a serious problem, and we don’t want to be responsible for seeing you go out of this world as a result of money.”

Dr. Carter zapped my scans over to Dr. Brent Murphy, with the insistence that he call me right away.  I was with my wife in the car, not far from the hospital, when we got the call.

“Pastor Meredith,” the voice asked.

“Yes, this is he.” I don’t know if my sense of dread revealed itself through the camouflage. For all I knew, it was a congregant.

“This is Dr. Brent Murphy. I need you to come to my office right away; you have a life-threatening situation.”

“But it’s already 4:30, isn’t the building closed” I protested.

“I’ll be back there in ten minutes. Just come to the security desk and ask for me.”

“I don’t want to waste your time – I don’t have any insurance,” I continued.

“I know that; we’ll sort that out later,” he said. He told me that I would be blind or dead by the time that was figured out. In other words, he didn’t care about the insurance.

I gave my hand to my wife as we got out of the car at Dr. Murphy’s office building. I was certain of nothing except for the warm touch of my wife’s skin. Holding hands, we entered the building at the nondescript man with a typical briefcase. We checked in at the security desk. I signed the manifest. I nodded to the guard. My wife smiled. “Dr. Brent Murphy?” I asked.

Right behind you,“ said the man.

We went up to his office on the top floor. All Atlanta stretched out beyond the floor·to·ceiling panel windows at the end of the hall. An expensive but tasteful furniture setting surrounded a maple coffee table, which reflected the far away street light pattern of the city. Pink Italian marble lined the hallway underneath a row of deep green marble tile that allowed for maple paneling on top.

The lights were already out. Dr. Murphy unlocked the office door and turned on the lights. Soon, my MRI prints were up on his X-ray viewing board. Even I could tell that the image behind one eye couldn’t have been more different that the one behind the other.

“We need to do exploratory surgery immediately to find out what’s going on with this mass behind your eye. Meet me at Piedmont Hospital and go to the emergency room. I’m calling to get you admitted and all you will have to do is show up for the surgery.” I went straight to the hospital and as soon as I told them my name at the desk, they rushed me back and prepped me for surgery. I felt like the President.

Wow. I can’t even imagine – everything that occurred was exactly what was needed. An enormous medical enterprise gave way to God’s Will. I would be the vehicle for Jesus to work a miracle again, through the direction of the Holy Spirit.

About Ronald FIschman

I am a public school teacher who had a prior career as a cantor, opera singer, and composer. My greatest notoriety comes from my settings of Dylan Thomas's "Vision and Prayer" and Percy Byssshe Shelley's "Ozymandias" for singers and large instrumental ensemble. My first poetry collection, "Generations," honors the roles of son, husband, and father, and is available at

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