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Standing in Line with V.D. Patients

Christian author John White tells the story of his days as a medical student. For one of his classes, he missed a practicum about venereal disease and had to make it up at the clinic. When he arrived at the clinic he ended up in a line with a bunch of patients who had actually contracted a venereal disease. White barged up to the front and told the head nurse, "I need to see the doctor."

"That's what everybody says," snorted the nurse, "now get in line."

"But I'm a medical student."

"Big deal," said the nurse, "You got it the same way as everybody else; now you can stand in line like everybody else."

John White writes:

In the end I managed to explain to her why I was there, but I can still feel the sense of shame that made me balk at standing in line with the other men who had a venereal disease. Yet Jesus shunned shame as he [went to the cross]. And the moral gulf that separated him from us was far greater than that separating me from the men at the clinic … But he crossed the gulf, joining our ranks, embraced us and still remained pure. He identified with those he came to save. He became like us.

Editor's Note: The original story from the author focused on Jesus' identification with sinners through his baptism (see the brackets above—replace the words "was baptized" for "went to the cross").

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