Our intrepid reporter is on location to interview the one she has been told is the Great Physician. A beautiful restaurant is full of people from all walks of life, enjoying a meal and drinks in a grand hall. The restaurant is owned by Dr. Calvin, and he is telling his story to the reporter who has joined the event to record the goings on- to get to know the one she has heard about.
“I am the Great Physician you have heard and read about,” he says.
“Who are all of these men and women, Dr Calvin?” she asks.
The Doctor looks over the grand hall and says, “This room is full of smokers- 100 smokers to be exact- each with lung cancer because of their smoking.”
“My goodness!” the reporter exclaims. She looks through the mist of cigarette smoke at the men and women filling the tables all across the ornate room. “Are these your patients? Are you treating them for their cancer?”
“No,” says the Doctor. “They are too addicted to their smoking. They know that coming to me would mean I would make them stop smoking, so none of them would ever come to me. In fact, they cannot come to me, so great is the slavery of their addiction.”
“If they are not your patients, then why are they all here?”
“I invited them to my restaurant for lunch because I have a surprise for them,” Dr Calvin tells her. “I have created a substance I call “Grace,” which is the cure that not only heals them of their cancer,” he explains, “but begins to remove from them the desire to smoke, breaking their addiction. I can change their lives! Cured and made new! It won’t cost them anything, and they can’t do anything to help make it work. It’s 100% effective all by itself.”
“Oh my goodness!” the reporter exclaims. “They will be cured of their cancer?”
“And they will no longer want to smoke?”
“Well,” he replies, “I’m not saying none of them will EVER light up again, but those who are cured will grow to see more and more the disgusting habit for what it is, and come to hate the thing that causes their former disease. Someday the cigarette they light will be their very last, whereas if I merely left them as they are, they would smoke to their final breath.”
“How do they get this cure from you?” the reporter asked. “Will there be an auction? Is that why they are gathered here?”
“No, of course not!” the Doctor laughed. “I do not have a limited supply that it needs to be fought over. I can make enough Grace for as many as I wish.”
“And you’re simply giving it away?” asks the reporter, dumbfounded.
“In fact, I already have,” the Doctor says with a smile.
“My goodness!” the reporter says with delight. “You are truly generous and merciful!”
“As they lunch,” the Doctor explains, “I have walked among them, filling their drinks. I’ve slipped this cure into the drinks of ten of those people, who I chose for reasons of my own. It will cost them nothing and it does for them what nothing else could. At each table, someone I have chosen will find that, by the time dessert has been served, they are healthy and new, and they may find that they are the only person at their table not reaching for an after lunch cigarette.”
“Wait,” the reporter begins hesitantly, “did you say ten of them?”
“Yes, ten of these sick and dying smokers have been given the gift of Grace and will find they have already been cured before they are done with their entrées!”
“Like, you’re only giving it to ten of them NOW?” The reporter is confused as she attempts to grasp the plan at work. “But you’re giving it to the rest of them later? Like, in the after dessert coffee? Or as a gift basket for them to choose to take when they get home?”
“No, it’s not something they can choose. It’s something I have to give them. They can’t give it to themselves.”
“But they can come to you later and ask for it,” the reporter says. “Because when they see how this Grace has affected the others, they will want it too, right?”
“No,” he says. “They are too addicted to their smoking. They cannot and will not come to me for Grace, even after they see it’s effects and are told the testimonies of those I have helped.”
“But the other ninety people- you are giving it to them too, aren’t you?”
“No, I’m only giving it to ten of them,” explains the doctor. “Just the ten I chose.”
“Why aren’t you putting it in all of their drinks?” she asks. “You could cure all of them by dessert.”
“I’ve only made enough for ten of them,” the doctor answers.
“But if you invited one hundred of them, why would you only make enough for ten of them?”
“Because,” the Doctor replies, becoming frustrated with this reporter’s apparent unwillingness to understand, “I have only chosen ten people to give it to. Why would I make more Grace if it was going to sit around unused? That would be wasteful. I don’t do things that way.”
“No,” she stutters, “what I mean is… Why not cure all of them? Why didn’t you make enough for one hundred of them and give it to all one hundred of them?”
“What do I owe any of them?” Doctor Calvin replies. “It’s because of their decision to smoke that they have cancer. Each of them is suffering the wages of their own decisions. I don’t owe a single one of them a cure, but ten of them are receiving it none the less. My actions prove I am generous and merciful.”
“But, you COULD cure them all?”
“Yes, of course I could,” he explains, “but letting some of them die shows how horrible smoking is, which helps people see how kind I am to cure some of them who I’ve chosen to help.”
“How can you let most of them die when you have the ability to save them?” the reporter despairs. “Are they just nameless strangers to you? Don’t you know they have families?”
“Of course I know that,” the Doctor tells her. “I’ve known their families for generations. I love all of these people and I know them by name. I can tell you the name of the great great great grandmother they had in common. They all come from families of smokers, which is why they are smokers.”
“But why are these people all smokers if you’ve known their families? Haven’t you told them not to smoke?”
“Of course I told them not to smoke!” Dr Calvin laughs. “They are smokers because, despite my warnings, their greatest of grandparents chose to smoke. Then I got their mothers hooked on cigarettes before they were born so they would all be born addicted to cigarettes.”
“These people were all…” The reporter paused and looked around the crowded room. “They were BORN addicted to cigarettes?”
“That’s right. They were born smokers, born into smoking families.”
“But, they were born smokers because…?”
“Because I determined that they would be smokers. It was my plan from the beginning.”
“You… gave these people cancer?” the reporter shouts in a whisper.
“Don’t be absurd,” replies Dr Calvin indignantly. “I never gave anyone cancer. The cigarettes they chose to smoke gave them cancer.”
“But you chose to make sure they were born addicted to smoking!”
“But I also warned them that smoking would cause cancer and kill them,” the Doctor reminds her. “And now, I have generously given ten of them a completely effective and completely free cure so they can live.”
“You said you love all of these people!”
“Yes, in a sense.”
“But what of the ninety people who are still going to die? Don’t you love them?”
“Yes, in a sense. But, then in another,” he explains, “I hate those people. I’ll be glad to see them die.”
“How can you say that!” the reporter shouts, this time not in a whisper.
“Who are you to question me? Are you a great doctor? Are YOU the Great Physician? Have you made a cure for cancer? CAN you do such a great thing?”
“No,” she admits quietly. “But I still don’t see how you can hate people enough to let them die when you can help them.”
“I don’t expect you to understand my complex nature. In a general sense, I love all of these people, but some of them… well, they’re SMOKERS. It’s a disgusting, filthy habit that causes cancer! And I have told them over and over not to smoke and they continue to ignore me and do it anyway. They are only getting what they deserve.”
“I don’t understand how you, a doctor…”
“Look, it’s very simple,” he explains. “These people are, all of them, slaves to their desire to smoke, addicted from birth. Because of that, they are incapable of coming to me to give them help, because they will always choose cigarettes over health- over coming to me. Therefore, the only way to help them is to choose some of them to cure, and give them the gift of Grace without their help or consent. I chose some of them for my own reasons, not because they earned it in any way, and they will be cured and shortly afterwards will understand what I’ve done for them.
“I made a limited supply of Grace,” he continues, “and I have given it to those I have chosen. I won’t waste it by making it for people who I’m not giving it to, so I have made just enough to help those people I have chosen to help. And once they have been helped, they will be cancer free and lose the desire to smoke until they become totally smoke free. Am I not generous and merciful?”
“I’m not sure what I think,” she says, looking around the room. “To those being cured, you are generous and merciful, but when the number you hate is so much higher than the number of those you help, I’m not entirely sure I believe that you’re a doctor.”
The article she went on to write was greeted by a lot of overly confident men in beards telling her that she doesn’t understand Dr Calvin, and that she is merely misrepresenting him. Some accused her of worshipping at the alter of free health care. A growing number of people, however, think that the man she was introduced to was not the real Doctor at all.
I encourage my readers to see the four biographies which were written by the Great Physician’s friends and see if the man you find in those books is the same man she spoke to, or if perhaps she was introduced to an imposter.
Share with me what you discover.