Why I Do What I Do (Remastered)

*Originally posted at darianduckworth.com

Over the weekend, a friend sent me a link to Third Day's album, Chronology: Volume 2 (2001-2006). I noticed that many of the tracks were "remastered," which means that the sound quality was improved. I decided to apply the idea of "remastering" to writing. 

In October of 2011, I wrote a musing entitled, "Why I Do What I Do."  Below is the "remastered" version, along with a recording from the Third Day album . As always, thank you for reading & listening with me. 

The summer before I started college, I traveled to Boston to attend a conference for students interested in medicine. The week began with a visit to Harvard Medical School. We walked down sparkling hallways and sat in theater-like classrooms. Then we entered a laboratory, and the professor leading our tour disappeared into another room. When he returned, he held a mysterious container.

“Today, each of you will hold a human heart.”

He carefully opened the container and lifted the heart for us to see. The room was as silent as it was stark. We put on our gloves. One at a time the professor handed us the heart. I was in awe. I can still remember the weight, how much heavier it was than I expected. I left with grand plans of becoming a cardiologist.

Later that evening, one of the conference leaders handed each of us a sheet of paper with our hospital assignments. While the week began with medical school, the week would end in a hospital with patients. All of us had gone to Harvard as a group, but our hospital assignments would be all over Boston. I eagerly unfolded the paper to find my place: a charity hospital that specialized in foot health of the homeless.

I don’t remember the name of the doctor I shadowed in that hospital. He did not wear a white coat. I would not have known he were a doctor, save for his name stitched on his shirt, ending in the letters, “M.D.”  As we walked from one examining room to another, the doctor explained the toll that homelessness takes on one’s feet. He cradled each foot as delicately as the professor had held the heart. He introduced us to his patients. He called each of them by name.

When I left the hospital, I was in awe again. Not from holding a human heart but from seeing a glimpse of the Father’s heart.

Obviously, I am not a cardiologist now. But as a pastor, I constantly tend to the needs of the heart: grief, healing, repentance….

I am also not a foot specialist. But as a pastor, I constantly tend to the needs of the feet: where people have been, where they are going, how they care for themselves in the present moment….

Dangerous. Delicate. Dramatic. Demanding.

Why do I do what I do?

Because every heart matters.

And for every heart that beats are feet that need tender care.

Whether I find myself in the halls of Harvard or the homeless, the Great Physician is never far away. He’s the one who can heal the broken heart. He’s the one who can restore the weary feet. I am a student, shadowing the Teacher. In his classroom, awe abounds.

 Now…. you've heard my answer to the question. It's your turn.

Why do you do what you do?

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian


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