Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. ~ Luke 6:22-23, NIV

In the 1980s, I had an ear-nose-and-throat solo practice in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. It was during this time that Lynn Martell, then ministerial secretary for the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, held evangelistic meetings at a public high school auditorium. Intending to help promote the event, I sent my paid-up, active patients a cover letter and a copy of the flyer for the meetings. I thought nothing of it, as several of my patients had sent me religious flyers announcing concerts and other events that they wanted to share with me.

Several weeks later, I received a letter from the Maryland Physician Licensing Board. They essentially advised me to cease and desist from ever doing something like this again–and they did not want to get another similar complaint. If they received further complaints, my license to practice medicine in Maryland could be in jeopardy. It seems the board had received a letter of complaint from one of my patients. That person did not appreciate receiving an evangelistic meeting invitation from my office.

Since then I have retired from private practice. I now work in general practice setting in the same country. I so much appreciate being able to speak briefly and answer questions on spiritual topics as the opportunity presents itself. Recently, I was talking with a patient about good health practices and habits. I felt blessed to be able to share the pocket pamphlet, “What Happens When You Die?” This was given after the patient asked if I thought there was anything after this life. Praise the Lord for our blessed hope!

Over the years, I have learned that although not all may appreciate and approve of me sharing my faith, many do. And I know that I can rejoice in the Lord, who has a reward for each of us in heaven.

-Rolf Nieman, LLUSM class of 1965, is an otolaryngologist in Silver Spring, Maryland.