By Holly Culhane
It had been a time of change in the life of Bill and Jeannie. They had recently retired after 40+ years in traditional ministry. They loved Jesus, the team and the colleagues with whom they served, and the 11 to 19-year-olds to whom they ministered. Life was good. More time with family, a new grandbaby, and a move filled with new and seasoned friends occupied their lives.
In November, they followed their tradition of cheering on their favorite golfer, Bernhard Langer, at the Schwab Cup in Phoenix, Arizona. Joining them were friends from across the country. Expecting a fun and relaxing time together, they headed to the car for the second day of the tournament. Within moments, everything changed.
As Bill slid into his seat, he grabbed his chest, turned pale and choked out, “Call 911.” Paramedics arrived. Finding no blood pressure or heart rate, they injected Bill with a stimulant and told Jeannie to meet them at the hospital emergency room. Everyone gave their best human effort to save Bill’s life. Jeannie described the EMTs and the ER doctors as all highly responsive, knowledgeable, and caring. Even the cardiologist on duty was of high reputation and called for a special surgical team to be available at the cardiac hospital upon Bill’s arrival. A helicopter was dispatched. No time for an ambulance.
Then the surgeon had a question, “Is the patient salvageable?”
It was heart-wrenching to read Jeannie’s account of that day and the many days that followed … but this question stunned me. I read it repeatedly. “Is the patient salvageable?”
I was immediately drawn to what my Savior did for me – how the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd viewed me and the state I was in. He endured torture. He suffered. He died. He spent three days separated from the Father. Because I was salvageable.
The Lamb of God for the sheep of His pasture. Every sheep.
Yes, in the eyes of the Father, we’re all salvageable...
the pre-born, the addict, the atheist, the church-goer, the dejected, the agnostic, the sex-trafficked, the fallen, the single, the married, the workaholic, the liar, the cheat, the beauty queen, the old, the young, the abandoned, the unfaithful, the pimp, the deceitful, the jealous, the corrupt, the conservative, the liberal … all of us.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The response to the surgeon’s question? “Yes, get your best.” Bill was salvageable. And the cardiologist did indeed get his best.
And that’s what our Heavenly Father did for us. He got His best. His Son. Our Shepherd. Saving our lives… and Bill’s.