One night about two years ago my phone rang and a voice said, “Raymond Berry has hurt his shoulder.”
A group from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was visiting a local college, and I, with several hundred others, had listened to some of them give their testimonies. Then they had gone on to the gym to play a game of basketball with the college team and I had gone home to bed.
Berry was one of America’s most brilliant professional football players, top pass receiver for the previous year. His name was known to all sports-lovers and had been since his college days. He was now at the very top in professional circles.
I had years before retired from the practice of surgery, but this was an emergency, and I dressed as quickly as possible and drove to the gymnasium. There I found Berry, with a small group, in one of the dressing rooms.
Obviously he was suffering considerable pain, although he was stoical. His left arm hung useless, supported by his right hand, and both arm and shoulder were in an unnatural position. A superficial look could have led one to think this strong-looking man was in exceptionally fine shape; but he no longer was. He was suffering pain and was unable to move the arm, and his shoulder showed a depression where it should have been well rounded.
I could have said, “Raymond, you look fine and will soon be all right. All you need is some rest, a bath, and clean clothes. You are the victim of this rough environment. I will give you something to ease the pain. Then I will put a pad on your shoulder and cover it so it will look like the other, and no one will notice the difference. You can go ahead and use your right arm.”
But would that have helped? His trouble was that his shoulder was out of joint—dislocated! ...1
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