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Cloud of Witnesses

Pastoral prayer is a scalpel, not a massage.

Yesterday Debbie and I registered our son Evan for his first semester of college. Per his instructions. Evan is in Germany as a foreign exchange student, finishing his senior year of high school. He requested a pre-med biology major.

When we mentioned "pre-med" to the director of admissions, she said, "That's easy." Out came a single sheet of paper with four years worth of courses laid out; few slots remained open for electives. His first semester looks like this: biology, chemistry, calculus, and writing. With labs, his weekly schedule looks like a country road sign shot up by bored gopher hunters.

Overwhelmed, my fogged-up brain entertained a profound thought: "Boy, you sure have to know a lot to be a doctor."

I can remove a splinter without a course in dermatology and prescribe aspirin for a headache without biochemistry, but I don't want a doctor to listen to my clogged lungs and prescribe antibiotics without a knowledge of bacteriology. I want someone with a detailed knowledge of the ...

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