He spent years scanning for cancer as a radiologist, and now that he’d become a Christian, he could not be silent about sharing the hope that was within him to patients facing possible death. Michael Edwards, MD, is an invasive radiologist, trained to read MRIs, CTs and ultrasounds. He came to know Christ as his personal Savior late in life, and has since grown deeply in the faith.
“I spent over fifty years of my life without a relationship with Christ, despite being baptized in the Presbyterian Church at the age of 13,” he said. “I do not recall hearing an explanation of the Gospel as a child, and never came to recognition of my own sinfulness.”
Michael was proud of being a highly-skilled physician, but recognizes now that this pride only served as a barrier to faith. He didn’t see a need for God, as his life was filled with self-sufficiency. Circumstances came about in his life, however, that severely threatened everything he placed value on, and this caused him to finally recognize his need for God. He wept over his past failures, repenting before the Lord.
“Sitting alone in the darkness at 2:30 a.m., distraught over my personal situation, the depth of my own sin was obvious and incredibly painful. Not even feeling worthy to speak to God, I confessed anyway, asking for forgiveness. I told Him that I will submit all control over to Him,” he said.
From that time on, Michael said his life changed beyond all measure. His focus changed, and anger went away. Within weeks, his friends noticed this change as his hunger to know more about Christ grew. He began reading the Bible voraciously… and then the trials began.
Since he was dealing with diagnosing patients who faced life-threatening illnesses, his compassion for them increased. Often times, the patients would hear the terrible news about having cancer, and would start to ask life and death questions. Michael never proselytized, but if his patients asked him delicate questions about dying, he didn’t shy away from sharing his worldview. He knew these people were scared, and he wanted to provide them some comfort. What is more comforting than the gospel of Jesus Christ? He discussed the results of the scans right away with the clients, feeling he owed them this since he had over 20 years experience reading medical imaging. If it came up, he would talk about God and often pray with his clients.
The imaging center Michael worked at was not unaware of his beliefs. In fact, upon his hire, he was upfront about his faith. Other Christians worked at the center, too, yet it was a multi-cultural community with varying world-views. No one seemed to mind Michael being open about Christianity; even the director sought counsel from him at times. Difficulties began at work when a larger company purchased the imaging center. His workload increased by 40%, and the stress level got much worse. He was then given less invasive screenings, and finally heard the bad news that his contract was not going to be renewed. His last day was a few months away, yet Michael remained open about his faith despite that pressure. Others became concerned about losing their jobs.
One thing Michael regularly did was to send scriptures via e-mail to some of his co-workers, and would often send devotional quotes to his director who appreciated the encouragement. That didn’t last. Deeply worried about her job, the director forwarded one of these scripture e-mails to the new management, knowing they were not comfortable with Michael’s openness about his faith.
He received a phone call later that night from the group management’s boss, and was terminated from his contract one week early. Later, his former director confessed that sometimes people do things they don’t want to do because they have to protect themselves. His director had betrayed him. She even hired an outside security guard to come into the center for protection out of a fear that Michael might do something when he left (he obviously didn’t). He later discovered the new management company replaced him with a younger person for 33% less pay.
Nonetheless, Michael finished well at the imaging center. He often spoke life into people who were dying. He didn’t back away from sharing the hope he had within him, and Christ has shown Himself faithful to Michael. He finds great comfort in Galatians 2:20-21, “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Today, Michael is pursuing a MA in Christian leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary, with a goal to lead and teach men’s ministry. He’s also working on a task force for the Society of Interventional Radiology, through its foundation, to develop means for legacy giving (it gives money to support research in minimally invasive treatments for diseases). He works one day per week at a medical clinic, and fills in for those going on vacations. He’s also a gifted photographer, shooting images of a ‘different’ kind (see his website for more pictures: http://www.pbase.com/meephoto/galleries. You can also follow him on Twitter: @photographycwC
“God has comforted and held my heart, showing me that He still has a plan,” Michael said confidently. “He will never forsake us. I am positive of this. I have seen this.”
Michael has found a new identity in Christ, the one who “scans hearts” from an everlasting love that sustains us through any trial life may bring.