More than 20 years ago, I wrote this story in a church bulletin for the Quinn Memorial Church of Christ. Maybe readers of Homefolks U.S.A. will enjoy it today.
I have a friend in Savannah, Tenn., a medical doctor, who for nine long years was a drug addict of the worst kind. His name is Dr. Howard Thomas.
In the ’60s Dr. Thomas lost his medical license, his practice, his family, his credit, his creditability, his health, his hope, his dreams and his dignity and twice became an inmate at the Murfreesboro Institute for the Insane.
His condition became so bad he would sleep in the woods at night, hide out in the fields during the day and search the garbage dumps for food. Seldom would he change his clothes; his face would go unshaven for days; he lived like an animal.
It seemed there was no hope for this pitiful human being; yet today, he has a very successful practice, along with his three sons, all whom are doctors.
Dr. Thomas would have been dead a long time ago had it not been for a man who cared about him and his family.
John Crawley was the man who would not give up on Dr. Thomas.
He encouraged him to make his life right with God, and when he did, God restored his life and blessed him again.
John Crawley would show care and concern for the Thomas family, and he made every effort possible to extend the needed help for Dr. Thomas.
As a young child, Howard Thomas was not exposed to the teaching of God’s word. His family never attended church, and his father was an alcoholic. His parents failed to teach the lesson found in Proverbs 22:6.
When Dr. Thomas became older, he chose to use drugs and alcohol as his escape in life.
I wonder how many people knew of Dr. Thomas’ problem yet never offered to help. Many might have said, “Well, he is a smart man, a doctor; he should know better. There is nothing I can do for him.”
Yet John Crawley, a truck driver, said, “I will help, and with God on my side, how can I fail?”
With John Crawley’s concern and God’s help, Dr. Thomas made a change in his life. He was able once again to gain his medical license; he got his family back; and today he has a successful practice in Savannah, Tenn.
I need to ask myself: Have I been like John Crawley to someone?
Do I know someone I could influence for good? Do I have a friend who is suffering form alcohol or drugs? There are a lot of people we could help if we put forth the effort.
In Matthew 9:36, Jesus saw crowds and had compassion for them because they were helpless and scattered like sheep without a shepherd. That’s really a good description of a lot of people today – helpless and scattered, like sheep with no shepherd.
Do you know people who are confused, angry, hurting, dying? Do we know families being torn apart, young minds being destroyed by drugs? Old folks feeling forgotten?
The need is overwhelming. Do we care enough to become involved in the lives of others? Are we willing to take time to show love to those less fortunate?
If we really care, and want to help those who are suffering, we can be assured the Lord will give us the needed strength. The harvest is plentiful; Jesus Christ is still asking, “Where are the laborers?”
Can he count on us?
Till next time,
P.S. — Dr. Thomas passed away in July 2016. He was 89 years old.