Giving Life or Draining It

In every encounter we either give life or drain it. There is no neutral exchange. We enhance human dignity or we diminish it. The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us.
~Brennan Manning
from Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

Forty years ago this week I graduated with an M.D. degree from the University of Washington and began a lifetime of trying to be life-giving rather than life-draining to others.

There have been times when I’ve failed miserably, my interest waning and my compassion fatigued.

But like tracing the path of a spiral from inside to outside, I continue to try to reach farther and encompass more with each step I take in the time I have left, remembering the dignity of each person I meet and being worthy of their time and trust.

May this young woman who embarked so enthusiastically on the physician journey so many decades ago never forget, after so much seasoning, what it took to get there and what it means to continue to be worthy.

7 thoughts on “Giving Life or Draining It

  1. Congratulations on this anniversary ! You have given so much through your practice and this blog. Thank you! I shared it with our daughter who is a doctor, a pediatric cardiologist in Washington, DC. I think you words will help her. Diann. Dagsboro, DE

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your heart’s desire to fulfill this worthy goal comes through your daily posts–and is a reminder to each of us that finishing our personal races well is far from automatic!
    Moses’ race was way longer than any of ours will be, and I love the words with which he concludes Psalm 90: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”

    And by God’s gracious hand on our lives, it will be so!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can only imagine what a life-giving, caring physician you are Emily. You have most certainly blessed hundreds of patients privileged enough to have you as their doctor!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank your for all your contributions, then, and continuing still! I am sure much fruit will have been reaped from the seeds sown, even tho you will never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Emily,
    I suspect you’ve done more to give life to others than you even know. I believe your compassion towards those around you on any given day, has been more rich than you imagine. When you see the Master, he will say “Well done, good and faithful Servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

    Liked by 1 person

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