Sunday, January 21, 2018

Of Doctors, Birds, and Band-Aids

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Of Doctors, Birds, and Band-Aids by Sharlyn Guthrie



“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Tyson, the fourth grade Star of the Week, was being interviewed by his teacher.
“An Otolaryngologist,” was his reply.
The teacher peered at him over the top of her glasses. “I don’t suppose you know how to spell that.”
He did.
Every spring, after routine auditory screening at the school, my husband and I had been notified that our youngest son’s hearing need to be re-checked. Year by year his hearing deteriorated, due to a hole in his eardrum. Tyson was impressed with the doctors that examined and eventually performed surgery on him at the large University Ear Nose and Throat Clinic we frequented. In fact, he had already taken the first step toward becoming a doctor himself, contriving his very own illegible signature.
Tyson possessed many doctoral qualities, but I knew that there was one small glitch in his fourth-grade plan. He disliked reading. In fact, the only chapter book that he had ever read was Stuart Little. That one book he read over, and over, and over again! It was quite a stretch to imagine him poring over medical journals.
On the other hand, his childish heart was very sensitive, especially toward animals. One day I found him seated at our picnic table with a box of band-aids. He was bent over, and so engrossed that he didn’t hear me approach. When he finally looked up I glimpsed the little bird, a victim of our mischievous cat, struggling for life on the table in front of him. Band aids were stuck to the bird at every odd angle imaginable. I would have laughed, had it not been for my son’s pale face and expression of utter despair. He knew that for all of his efforts he couldn’t “fix” the little bird. Later in the day we held a funeral service and buried the bird behind the garage.
Today our aspiring doctor is in his eighth year of higher education, and well on his way toward his goal. However, the field of Otolaryngology has been abandoned. As much as he admired his childhood physicians, another Physician has captured his full dedication and devotion. He is consumed with love for Jesus, the greatest of all healers. In this, his fourth year of seminary, Tyson has begun his search for a doctor of theology program. He has moved well beyond Stuart Little, devouring books with titles I can’t pronounce, and poring over commentaries rather than medical journals.
Considering his chosen field of study, it’s doubtful that Tyson will be famous or make a large amount of money, but I am pleased and humbled by the choices he has made. I also admire his perseverance and his amazing ability to focus on his educational goals while remaining spiritually grounded. He is especially blessed to have a wife that supports him in his quest to grow deep in the knowledge of God.
As disciplined and dedicated as our son is, I am careful not to take his spiritual life for granted. Each and every day I pray that he will remain humble rather than puffed up by his knowledge, that he will always recognize the tremendous healing power of the Holy Spirit, and that he will continue to feel the same burden for dying souls that he felt for the little bird dying in his hands on the picnic table.
Finally, I pray that when he has dispensed compassion, love, and knowledge like so many band-aids to spiritually struggling sinners, he will not despair, but rest in knowing that he has done all that God has required of him. If these things remain the center of his focus, he will do well.
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NASV)


In His infinite grace and wisdom, God created Sharlyn Guthrie with a mind that loves to entertain words. Words run and tumble about like children on a playground, loud and boisterous, eager to try out new voices, new friends, and new games.

She tried for a while to tame and even hush the words, but the more she tried to ignore them, the louder and more unruly they became. At last she found FatithWriters, and with it, a new playground for her words. They are happily moving and growing among like-minded friends, doing what words were created to do by the Word Himself. 

Besides writing, Sharlyn teaches Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Her four through six year old students probably teach and challenge her as much as she does them. She also teaches music to lower elementary students and health to seventh grade girls. Her newest endeavor is teaching a Sunday school class for women focused on pursuing God.

Sharlyn and her husband have been happily married for thirty-two years. She is the mother of three sons, all of whom, by God’s grace, are adults walking with Him. With the demanding responsibilities of parenthood greatly reduced, she is concentrating on developing her writing skills and exploring various writing opportunities.

God has worked powerfully through dark and difficult experiences, as well as through many servants of Light, to draw her to Him. He continues to use circumstances in her life to mold and shape her into His likeness. Sharlyn’s goal is to use the gift of words God has given to her to minister to and encourage others, and ultimately to exalt His holy name.

Sharlyn has been a guest columnist in her local newspaper, and often writes stories and poems for special events and occassions. She loves extracting beauty from the ordinary: vegetables, notes, fabric, flowers, paper, weeds, words.


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