Monday, January 23, 2012

As a Dog to his Master...

Once, circa my time at Messiah College, I remember we had a Priest invited over to give us a discussion on matters of Faith. Seeing as this was about 7 years ago, most of the memory has withered away. I do, however, remember that one part of his conversation focused on the Vatican, the faith of the early church community...and the catacombs for the faithful.

Considering the turbulent years of the Early Church, with the rampant persecution and "brutality-for-sport" that their accusers displayed, Faith certainly was a more tangible thing back then: you either had it, or you didn't...and chances were you would either have to renounce or defend it if challenged.

Thus the catacombs tell one part of this story; they are, of course, the place where the Martyrs were buried, and venerated. Because of their great show of faith in times of trial, traditions celebrating their deeds grew around these early faithful, and people also sought to have the graves of their loved ones sited adjacent to the Martyrs' graves (...perhaps hoping to get a "seat" closer to the throne at Resurrection).

The Priest then elaborated on how the Martyrs were venerated (a subject of contention for some, I realize): with beautiful paintings by their graves, or even graffiti scrolled alongside. The usual Christian symbols featured prominently: the fish, dove, Good Shepherd, the palm, etc. Interestingly, at one grave, the Priest noticed a peculiar symbol drawn: A Dog's Paw Print

For an animal considered Man's best friend, and loyal as can be, dogs don't tend to rank as "overt" Christian symbols. To tell you the truth, dog references in the Bible usually tend to be negative; hence, the surprise expressed by the Priest. Later on, the Priest discovered what this little piece of graffiti actually meant:
As a Dog to his Master...I will be Faithful
I'm a dog-person, so it is indeed a fitting reflection of so intimate a relationship between Man & God. Intelligent and gifted as the dog is, it is also capable of great servitude, submission and loyalty. And just as we are gifted, beautifully-made, with eternity imbued in our hearts....even with all that, we pale in comparison to our Maker, and we ought to seek Him out each and every day.

So, that is my little prayer for today,
That as a Dog unto his Master, I too will be Faithful.

God Bless

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year, New Beginnings, New Internship

It's been a happy start to the year 2012. Well, contrary to the naysayers' dire predictions, the world is still here, resilient as ever; and she isn't skipping a bit, 'cause there certainly is a lot of stuff that needs to get done.

To ring in my New Year (almost literally), which is also my last year of Medical School, I have started my  "internship" (more like an Externship) at our WMC's First Affiliated hospital, and that's going great thus far. The first 2 weeks were spent by my group-mate (Jean) and I in the Emergency Department. This is certainly not a department for a rookie; you constantly feel like you're out of your league. The gist of this department is that most patients who walk in have about 2-3 comorbidities, so it's like being in a sinking ship and you're stuck trying to plug the biggest hole....just so you can get down to sealing the other holes.

I remember one patient we came across. He had a history of hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease...and Gout to round things off. With the restricted diet that he'll have to endure, I'm sure life won't be so much of a least he seemed to think so.

Lest you think the hospital is a deluge of patients (let's face it, this is China), we are presented with a rather peculiar Chinese condition - The Chinese Lunar New Year. It is not considered lucky to celebrate the New Year in the confines of the hospital, so people are clearing out of the hospital like 'hot-cakes'. So a lot of departments, even the Emergency Department should see a reduction in patient numbers (Amen!)

This situation is quite the conundrum, because as an Intern, I need the experience and the "sick people" :) Anyway, I think I'll survive. I'm currently in Orthopaedics, and some of the patients today were "seasonal injuries" - meaning they were cleaning the house, slipped and fractured something. The way my mentor talked about it, you'd think it was regular as rain (working here for 16 years, he probably knows best).

Anyway, 2012 is scheduled to be a great year for the Araos. Last year for my mother at Daystar University before she retires (since '87...WOW!), my eldest brother is having his 2nd child, and my other elder brother is getting married, plus this could be the time my elder sister comes back home (wider meaning = "Africa" or "Kenya"); this hardly compares, but I am helping out with my hospital's website during my free time, something I've wanted to do for them ever since they welcomed me warmly in 2009; glad I get to give something back.

Well, just a short intro of what's in store.
God Bless us all, come what may.