The Doctor and the Desperate Neighbor

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His ears tensed as he picked up a slight sound — the baby crying, perhaps? But as he strained to hear, he realized that it was just a dog barking in the distance. The house was truly quiet at last. What a day for his wife to leave him in charge.


Nothing had gone right. While he cleaned up one mess, another was in the making. A diaper to change, a mouth to feed, a boo-boo to kiss. All in a day’s work, but it had taken it’s toll on his nerves. Bedtime had been beckoning for several hours, it seemed. He sighed and breathed deeply as he adjusted his pillow just right. Sleep would be his welcomed friend.


The cell phone signaled on the bedside table and he glanced at the incoming text. “Need medical advice,” the next door neighbor wrote. “It’s the four-year-old.”


It could wait till the morning, he thought. Just because I’m a doctor doesn’t mean I’m always on call.


He rolled over decisively to prove it so.


The device buzzed as the neighbor added, “He seems pretty bad.”


He debated turning off his phone, but hesitated. What if his wife called? Maybe he would just cover the phone with an extra pillow.


As he deliberated, the cell startled him with it’s ring.


He fumed as he recognized the number. It was that neighbor next door again, and he swiftly silenced the ring before the children heard it.


With the exception of his own pounding heart, everything in the house remained at peace. No bedroom doors opened. The children must have slept through the interruption.


Within seconds, the home phone began to ring. He grabbed the receiver off the hook and answered in a gruff whisper, “What?!”


It was that neighbor again — apologetically, but urgently laying out her plea for the four-year-old. “His fever is up to 104,” she begged. “I’m not sure what to do.”


He heard these requests everyday at his office and sure didn’t need them again now tonight. Just then, his own ten-month-old rustled. “My kids are in bed, for Pete’s sake! Give him some Tylenol and I’ll see him in the morning,” he barked as quietly as possible. He briskly disconnected the phone and left it purposely off the receiver. He couldn’t risk an awakened household.


As he shuffled to the kitchen for a drink, he heard a soft rap at the door. This couldn’t be happening. Again, the rap sounded. This time a little louder. Racing back to his bedroom for his robe, he stuffed his arms into it, but not before the doorbell rang — twice. He swiftly moved toward the front door as he heard his five-year-old turn off the sound machine and come out of her room. Unfortunately, her three-year-old sister pattered after her.


Infuriated by this time, the doctor swung the door open to the find the desperate neighbor.


“You really must come,” she implored. “I’m awfully afraid for my little boy’s life!”


In the background, the three-month-old cried.


“With all the kids awake now,” the doctor sighed heavily, “What does it matter? Let me get my coat. You stay with my kids.”


“Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, ‘Friend, (my child is sick and I have nothing to give him)’; and from inside he shall answer and say, ‘Do not bother me, the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’


“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” (Luke 11:5-8)


Now, just think….if the desperate neighbor in our story had asked other family and friends to call, knock, and pester the doctor, how much quicker she would have procured her need!


Our heavenly Father is far more considerate, far more willing, and far more compassionate than the doctor in today’s story. Our Great Physician is waiting not only for us to ask, seek and knock. He welcomes us to call on our friends to do so on our behalf as well.


“How much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11)


Let go to Him together for our needs, shall we?