[forthright] Faulty Memories

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 21:42:10 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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Faulty Memories
by J. Randal Matheny

A week ago Saturday a gentleman died after an
emergency surgery at Rhode Island Hospital to
stop hemorrhaging on the brain.

A nurse had omitted some necessary information on
the chart, and instead of checking the exams, Dr.
Frederick Harrington relied on his memory and
began operating--on the wrong side of the
patient's brain. When he caught his error, he
switched sides, but the surgery team's rush to
treat the patient caused them to abandon the
proper procedures,  according to one hospital

The news report didn't give the doctor's age,
only the patient's. For all that, we tend to
think that memory problems occur more frequently
among the aged. But faulty memory afflicts us all.
Especially in spiritual subjects.

The Passover was a God-given meal for the Jews, in
order to remind them of their rescue from Egypt.
Moses told them,

  ... for seven days you must eat bread made
  without yeast, symbolic of affliction, for
  you came out of Egypt hurriedly. You must
  do this so you will remember for the rest
  of your life the day you came out of the
  land of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 16:3 NET).

When during a Passover meal Jesus established the
supper for his disciples, he also recognized the
need for us to be reminded, because of our faulty

To a church which was forgetting the reason for
the Lord's supper, the apostle Paul wrote,

  ... the Lord Jesus on the night in which he
  was betrayed took bread, and after he had
  given thanks he broke it and said, 'This is
  my body, which is for you. Do this in
  remembrance of me.' In the same way, he
  also took the cup after supper, saying,
  'This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
  Do this every time you drink it, in
  remembrance of me'" (1 Corinthians 11:23b-

In the NET version of the Bible the words
"remember" and "remind" are used 144 times.
Evidently, we need to work on our spiritual

What should we remember? That we cannot save
ourselves. That the way back to God's side goes
exclusively through Jesus. That we must die to
self in order to live with and for him. That he
will come suddenly for his people, and in the
meantime we need to be prepared and busy in his

The worst of it is that this wasn't the first
time Dr. Harrington had operated on the wrong
side of a patient's brain. Last year, he did the
same thing in another hospital.

And in Rhode Island Hospital, this was the third
surgical error of this very type in six years.

But before we condemn the doctors for their
faulty memories, let's see if we aren't doing the
same in the kingdom of God.

Because a faulty memory, as much for Christians
as for surgeons, is fatal.

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