Dr. Ruth Pfau    1929-2017
 
I’m a pretty thoughtful guy
Let me give you an example
Recently a friend baked a pie
And offered me a sample
 
The taste was gray and ghastly
Pathetic and pernicious
“How is it?” he asked me
I said it was delicious
 
My integrity suffered
I now labor under that lie
But I sacrificed for another
I’m that kind of guy
 
I don’t just talk the talk
The evidence is ample
I was out for my evening walk
Which led to this example
 
An empty plastic water bottle
Lay cast upon the ground
And like the Samaritan in the Gospel
I recycled it downtown
 
No one saw me do this
And so I received no credit
And thus I know the truth is
The world to me’s indebted
 
But I will let it go by
I am that kind of guy
 
With good humor I face my trials
(For instance, I can no longer drink whole milk)
But today God took away my smile:
We lost one of my ilk
 
Dr. Ruth Pfau was born in Germany
Her town bombed into submission
Her brother’s death assured that she
someday would be a physician
 
She treated a Nazi camp survivor
A Christian who preached forgiveness
And suddenly Pfau.felt a desire
To live amongst the religious
 
She called off her pending wedding
Converted, became a nun
And found a life in a setting
Where most would fear to come
 
Sent to India for a retreat
A stop in Karachi delayed her
A leper crawled in the dirty street
And Ruth Pfau saw the Savior
 
Some believers seek stigmata
As proof of prayers received
But what Dr. Pfau thought of
Is removing the stigma of disease  
 
She aided tens of thousands of lepers
Restored dignity and hope
Founded a network of medical centers
And came up with this amazing quote
 
Leading a life committed to service
Does protect the soul from wounds

So I have no need to be nervous
My work has rendered me immune
 
And now I must soldier on
(perhaps my memoir’s title?)
Pick up a bottle on my neighbor’s lawn
Which I will selflessly recycle  

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