I was on an ambulance call the other day when our Short Gap ambulance was across the mountain helping out Cresaptown. There was a medic on the scene, but they did not have an ambulance. The patient was having back pain on one side. When we got there we all decided that the person did not require a medic so I would be the provider for the patient and the medic could go back in service. When we got the patient in the ambulance I asked the person if they had ever had a kidney stone and they said no. But, they said, the “other EMT” told her it was too low in her back to be a kidney stone. I asked her to point on me where it hurt on her. She poked me in the flank, the area of the back just below the ribs. I told her the other person had gone to college to be a paramedic and had much more training and a much more diverse skill set than me, but either he misunderstood where her pain was or he was just wrong. I told her that I know this because I have had kidney stones and I know exactly where the pain is and for me it was precisely where she pointed.
To have personally experienced something like kidney stones when dealing with a patient on the ambulance does a couple of things. For one thing, I know where the pain is on the body. And secondly, I have felt the indescribable pain they are experiencing. People can have book smarts or knowledge about things, but we often learn much more through experience. I will never forget Dr. David Watson, one of my professors at United Theological, who said, “We can teach you some things about being at the bedside of a dying person, but there are some things you will only be able to learn by experiencing it.”
It is one thing to stand in the pulpit and preach what the Bible says about Salvation. It is quite another thing to have experienced it. The Apostle Paul spoke as one who had experienced Jesus Christ. There are a whole lot of seminary trained and educated pastors in the church. However, I am reminded there are certain things you can learn in a book and others you have to experience. I write this today not to disparage anyone in the pulpits, but to empower the saved among you who sit in the pews. The extent to which our society is going to be reached with the truth of the Kingdom of God is going to be determined in large part by those who make up the converted part of the church body.
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”
― John Wesley