My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19, KJV

The graduation of the forty-sixth class of College of Medical Evangelists School of Medicine at the Redlands Bowl in Redlands, California, on June 8, 1958, seemed a complete success. The graduates felt as if they had climbed the mountain and reached its summit. Everyone left the Redlands Bowl happy. Well, not quite everyone. Geneva, the wife of Arthur Christensen, LLUSM class of 1923, had traveled 70 miles from Glendale, California, so she could personally congratulate one doctoral graduate and honor him with a gift. She had befriended him 1945, when he was a teenager.

Alas! She couldn’t find him in the crowd and returned home disappointed but not discouraged. She eventually contacted the new doctor and apologized for having missed him. Could he visit her soon? Of course, he’d be pleased to come see her. She had provided work for him during his last two years at Glendale Union Academy in Glendale, California. She had found a variety of household and gardening chores for him to do, even though she had her own housekeeper and gardener. Once, she had him scrub the outside stairs of an apartment she owned.

Geneva was this student’s favorite employer, especially since she voluntarily paid 25 percent more than any of his other after-school employers. So the student was thankful that this kind lady had sought his services. Geneva had learned of his need for work from another CME doctor’s wife. And, in turn, that doctor’s wife had learned from her husband, Dr. H. G. Westphal, of this student’s willingness to do household chores.

As is usual for word-of-mouth recommendations, Dr. Westphal heard about this student during a routine pharmaceutical detail visit with a pharmaceutical representative, who had recommended the student’s services to Dr. Westphal. This “detail man” liked the way the student mowed his lawn and vacuumed his rugs.

And now this student had graduated; so Geneva requested that he visit her because she had a gift for him. About a week after his graduation, he was pleased to visit her and, after the usual greetings, was presented with an envolope. It contained a paper he had seen before, his promissory note to Geneva for $500.

During a time of need, Geneva had loaned him $500 for tuition in his sophomore year of medical school. Each of the next two years, she offered more funds, but these were not needed. When the student looked at the paper, he saw Geneva had written “cancelled” on the note. What a gift! An unnecessary kindness!

And does not “cancelled” on this promissory note given me prefigure “forgiveness” on my divine note? That “note” demonstrated my need then; and “cancelled” demonstrates, for all time, the goodness of God as bestowed by one of His children. At least that is what a now nearly 80-year-old doctor believes. For in his medical theology, Paul was not referring to streets of gold and gates of pearl as constituting the riches of God. Rather, God’s “riches in glory by Christ Jesus” are the kind acts that His children render to those in need.

George L. Vannix, LLUSM class of 1958, is a family practitioner in Somis, California.