Monday Memo – What a Blessing I Received

I received a wonderful blessing recounting a story from long, long ago.

Dear Walt, 

Do not know if I ever reached out to you but will do so today because what I have to say is important. 

In the early 70s, I was working for the Plains Presbyterian Church in Zachary, LA, as a summer youth “counselor.” I invited you and your lovely wife to come to Zachary and speak to our Youth Group. 

I was an aspiring pre-med, and you had been accepted into medical school. So of course, that made you my hero, and I hung on your every word. Your testimony that night, as a Christian physician-to-be, left a huge stamp on my heart. Your words helped reframe medicine for me: it went from being a position of glamour and importance, to a platform for service. 

I have been a practicing neurosurgeon now for 31 years, and I still love what I do. My privilege and high honor as a neurosurgeon is being with families in times of great sadness, and also in times of great joy. In both, I am able (hopefully) to redirect the attention to where it belongs: away from man and to the Throne of Grace. Neurosurgery may be my job, but this is my ministry. 

My point in writing is simply this: to tell you that your word and example so many years ago have had a lifelong effect on my plans and my career. You helped me look on medicine not as an avenue to privilege, but as an opportunity for service. And for this I am so grateful. 

Lon F. Alexander, MD Meridian, Mississippi

There are no words!

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6 Responses to Monday Memo – What a Blessing I Received

  1. Mark H. Meacham says:

    Lovely letter! I know there are many of us that feel this way. Thanks for sharing, Walt
    Mark Meacham M.D.

  2. Peter Zieg says:

    Love that story. Martin Luther, that German priest who caused such a ruckus in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500’s, wrote and preached a lot about VOCATION. That’s what you and Lon are talking about. Vocation = Using your God-given gifts, talents and abilities to love the Lord with all your heart and mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.

  3. Bob Bruno says:

    Walt. What a beautiful tribute to your Father, He must have been a great man. His son sure is.Happy Fathers Day.
    Bob Bruno

  4. Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words. They are a blessing, also.


  5. Pastor Pete,

    Thanks so much. Someone once told me the Latin root for “vocation,” was “vocal,” meaning “to be called.” And, of course, those of us called to various “professions,” should use the platform and the pedestal to which the Lord has called to “profess” Him … of course, when asked (1 Petere 3:6). Amen?


  6. Bob,

    The blessing is that this neurosurgeon is speaking of how the Lord blessed him through my and Barb’s testimony. But, I suspect the Lord uses most of His people, “cracked pots” that we are, to shine out into the world around us. Praise Him for the fruit He raises in and through us!


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