And they took note that these men had been with Jesus. ~ Acts 4:13, NIV

“Morning worship before medical rounds?” my friend inquired, with a look of surprise.

“That is exactly right!” I replied.

Even though White Memorial Hospital was the flagship of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine many years ago, for junior and senior medical students, much of their clinical experience was obtained at another medical center run by the country. Consequently, the integration of spirituality with medicine in such secular institution of learning was out of the question.

But it was a different situation at “the White.” At the discretion of the attending physician, such integration could exist, but not as a routine. So, I was extremely happy to have my short internal medicine rotation there under the tutelage of two fine Christian physicians who made it a practice to have worship prior to their medical lectures and rounds.

The worship was brief, focusing on the ministry of Christ the Healer, and was closed with prayer. These two attending physicians took turns conducting the worship. It was not their style to pontificate. But I just loved the way they prayed. It was heartwarming to hear them talk to God with a conversation-like prayer and apparent that they had a close relationship with Him.

That spiritual connection happened nearly half a century ago. My–how the brief contact with these two godly men positively impacted my life and my practice later on! The message came loud and clear that if I wanted to have a good day, start it right. And the way to do it was talk with the Lord before getting involved in the day’s activities. That became my adopted guiding principle.

There was something else I learned from my close observation of the two physicians. Their visible attitude toward patients helped me appreciate the value of every soul. Their patients were not “numbers” or medical “cases,” but people–individuals in need of help, to be treated with kindness, compassion, and respect. To me, their exemplary lives were truly the personification of the motto of Loma Linda University: “To Make Man Whole.”

After all these years, many of the medical pearls they gave us may have faded from memory. However, their day-by-day Christian life that made such an indelible imprint in my mind lingers on. In my opinion, the compliment accorded to Apostles Peter and John could also be descriptive of these Christian doctors: “and they [that included me] took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, NIV).

Looking back, I wish I had taken the opportunity to tell them how their down-to-earth Christianity has blessed me beyond measure. Both have gone to rest, but the day will soon come when I can express my gratitude to them face to face for contributing so much to my professional and spiritual life.

Wellington O. Manullang, LLUSM class of 1964, completed an obstetrics and gynecology residency at White Memorial Medical Center and worked there from 1969 to 1976. Moving to Washington he joined a group practice with several other LLU graduates in Renton. Now retired, he is frequently involved in health seminars overseas.