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By: Dr. Grant Scarborough
One day at the clinic, we had a VIP come to be seen. I didn’t know she was coming until I pulled my cursor over my list of appointments and her full name popped up. “Oh snap!” I hopped up, cleaned up my desk, and grabbed my nurse. “A VIP is here,” I told Kristy, “put on your white gloves.” A new volunteer was walking down the hall with the VIP’s paperwork to call her back and I said, “Whoa whoa whoa. Let me see that paperwork, you take the next one – KRISTY! Go get her, do not make her wait.”
I went in as soon as she was worked up. I spent a little extra time talking to her. I made a few jokes and talked about her interests some. I was engaged. I placed the computer aside for a second to show her she was more important than work. I wanted her to think all patients were treated this good. I even got her referrals scheduled before she walked out the door.
Let’s face it, we could not afford to run the clinic, which serves people without insurance, without special people helping to make it happen. Medicine is expensive and, without generous friends giving money, we would have to close our doors and no one would be seen. I do not like showing special treatment to anyone, but, as much as she had been involved, I felt I had to give the VIP service. And she got it! She felt loved and cared for. She walked out proud of her investment in MercyMed. As the next patient walked in, she knew he would get that same type of care.
But, the next patient was not a VIP. He was poor man who recently had a stroke. He could wait. I wanted to watch the VIP leave, see her reaction, talk to the staff, and get a quick survey of our medicine product.
Then, conviction came in. Well, kind of. Okay, a little conviction. As a ministry we run understaffed. We don’t have the manpower to do everything as quickly and timely as we did for the VIP. I wish we could. All I could think is that I am glad God does not treat me the way I treat people. I pay more attention to them more if they can benefit me.
So, I decided the next patient would be a VIP too. I hurried back in to see him and treated him the same way I treated her. I told a few jokes, laughed a little, put the computer to the side, spent too long in the room, and got farther behind. I needed a referral on him as well, so I handed it to my staff and said “VIP, need referral scheduled now.” She looked at the name on the paper and said “VIP?” “They are all VIP’s today,” I replied. She responded with a simple, “yeah, right.”
She knew what I knew – we do not have the personnel, manpower, or finances to run a VIP clinic for the poorest of the poor in Columbus. We really desire to and maybe we should change our model, but there are so many hurting in the city – how do you balance? The person I wanted to spend most of my time with today was an elderly black man that lost his job at the meat processing company and was struggling with depression. We have been friends for a long time, but he was really sad today. He needed the VIP treatment and I did spend more time with him. But, what he really needed was to be invited to dinner, a relationship, and an invitation to meet know the God that makes all people VIP’s.
I don’t have resolution for the problem, except to admire God who treats us all as VIP’s. We all get the special white glove treatment. We all get the care we need – He has endless resources, endless time, and endless love – He knows exactly what you need and is able to be present with you, deliver, and provide everystep of the way. You are God’s VIP. It does not matter your finances, your skills, your abilities. You are God’s VIP! You are God’s VIP! You are God’s VIP! And it is not because you hit a home run or threw a touchdown – it is simply because the God of Heaven and Earth has chosen you, given you a new heart, set his affection upon you and said, “you are mine!” “Beloved!” “Child” “VIP”