A couple of weeks ago, while traveling for a friend’s wedding, I suddenly developed what can only be described as a mini Mount Vesuvius on my knee. The random, swollen, fluid-filled monstrosity eventually became bad enough (because my “oh, it’ll go away….duh!” mentality didn’t work), that when we got home I went in to see my doctor.
Like a good expectant mom, I told the doctor’s office right away that I am pregnant. I also informed them that I’m taking supplemental progesterone, something I don’t think much about, since its use in NaPro Technology is fairly common. The nurse looked at me strangely when I mentioned progesterone and, after he left, I told my husband, “Ugh. Outside of NaPro Technology, use of progesterone in pregnancy is really rare. I bet they’ll ask me about that.” Since I was tired from traveling and my knee was causing pain I wouldn’t have wished on my worst enemy, I definitely didn’t feel like having the “NFP talk” with my doctor. I felt myself go on the defensive automatically.
When the doctor came in, sure enough, she asked me “you’re pregnant?”
“Yup.” I replied shortly.
“…But you’re taking progesterone?”
“Yup.” Another quick response on my part.
“…why?” she asked.
I sighed and replied “because I have low progesterone.”
The doctor let it go at that, and satisfied that I wouldn’t have to defend my use of the Creighton Model or NaPro, I settled in for the conquering on Mount Knee-suvius. Half way through the exam, it came up again.
“Who is your OB?” asked the doctor.
I told her. Understandably, her eyebrows rose when she heard I was traveling over an hour away to see my OB.
“Is there a reason you go all the way down there?” she inquired.
Irritated, I quipped “yes.” Again, why the inquisition? Can’t we fix my knee?
The doctor explained that someone traveling that far could indicate a high-risk pregnancy, which would change her course of treatment. No, I reassured her, I’m not high risk. The eyebrows went up again – “then why is this chick traveling so far?” I could see the question in her eyes.
After the exam, I hopped off the table and as I settled into my chair next to my husband the doctor said to me “I’m sorry, this is off topic, but, do you like your OB?”
I quickly responded that I love him, I couldn’t recommend him highly enough, and everyone should go to him. The doctor smiled and explained that she is getting married in 11 days and they want to start a family right away. Since she will be living near that area, she is looking for good OBs and wondered what I thought. Then she asked what had prompted me to drive down there.
The question hit me like a baseball bat on the head and the old expression “third time’s a charm” ran through my head. With a new sense of compassion, I told the doctor about NaPro Technology and the Creighton Model. I explained why it was important to me to have a NaPro trained OB and the basics of the system. She listened with rapt attention as I explained the tenants of NaPro and when I offered her my OB’s card she took it readily.
“This is really cool!” She said, “thank you!”
As we left the office a sense of shame came over me.
“That was a close call,” I told my husband as we got in the car.
“What exactly?” he probed.
Every single person we come into contact with has a right to the truth. Every single person we meet has a right to hear the Lord’s message of love, redemption, and an opportunity to come into contact with the faith. That doesn’t mean we ought to go stand on street corners thumping bibles, but it does mean that when the opportunity for evangelization presents itself we have an obligation and a duty to rise to the occasion and evangelize. It doesn’t matter how tired we are, or how much pain we are in. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve told people something or how many times doctors have told us that “that’s not going to work.” The fact is, that the Creighton Model and NFP in general have brought numerous people into contact with the faith. What if I was the only person who was ever going to tell her about it?
“Maybe she’ll go see our OB, maybe she won’t,” I told my husband. “But what if she does? What if she does and he introduces her to Creighton? What if his practice introduces her to Catholic theology and the faith? What if through seeing our OB, she comes into the Church and it all started because I gave her a business card? This visit could have potentially changed her entire life, and I almost blew it because I was too tired and grumpy to care that the Lord was presenting me with this opportunity.”
I was lucky that day that the doctor asked me one more time “why that?”
But… what if she hadn’t asked one more time?
What about those who don’t?
The new evangelization calls us to be radically aware of those around us and how we can bring them to the Lord. She thought she was healing my knee, and had our conversation been left at that, only one of us would have walked away better. However, because the Lord opened a door, maybe both of us walked away from that encounter better off. Hopefully, we’ll all be more aware than I was and recognize those unique opportunities to share the truth with everyone we meet!