A Doctor’s Experience of Metamorphosis
When I was a child, whenever my mother took me to the hospital to see a doctor and I saw all the doctors and nurses in their white gowns scurrying around, I always thought that they looked like angels in white. I was full of admiration for them, and I used to think: If I could be an angel in white too when I grow up, that would be so great! As a young adult, my school grades were exceptionally good and I was able to pass the entrance exam for medical college, and eventually my heartfelt wish came true when I was sent to a certain city hospital to begin my career as a doctor. You can’t imagine how happy I was on the first day that I put on a white gown! The professional duty of doctors is to cure illness and prevent death, and that makes the profession highly respected, lofty! I was determined to live up to the nickname, angels in white, by being a totally responsible and professional doctor committed to relieving the suffering of my patients.
My Dream Begins to Crack
Following the trend of China’s reform and opening up, my hospital enthusiastically responded to the central government’s slogan “It doesn’t matter if the cat’s black or white as long as it catches rats.” The old system of jobs for life on fixed salaries was done away with, and everything became performance related. I worked in the hospital clinics and the hospital set a quota for the number of patients that we clinic doctors had to transfer to the hospital wards. For every patient short of the quota we were fined RMB 50. When I first learned of this I got very angry. I thought: So even if there is nothing seriously wrong with the patient, we must still send them to the wards? Isn’t this a kind of fraud? It’s completely heartless.
So I continued to make decisions about hospital stays for each patient based solely on my diagnosis of their illnesses and ignored the hospital’s directive. At the end of the month, my intransigence led to RMB 500 being deducted from my pay packet. Other doctors’ pay packets were thick and heavy while mine was pitifully thin. They all looked at me in a strange way, and I heard them saying things like: “She’s stupid. She can’t even hit the quota for admissions to the wards.” “Isn’t she just! Our clinic exceeded the quota.” The chief director of the hospital called me in for a scolding: “Xiaoliu! The government gives us very little money these days, so we have to balance the accounts ourselves. If we don’t get the money from the patients, how are we supposed to pay the staff salaries? If every doctor treated their patients the way you do, the hospital would have to shut up shop in no time!” When I heard this, I couldn’t help screaming to myself: You’re turning good people into thieves! I left the director’s office with tears in my eyes. One of the colleagues who I got along with quite well urged me to reconsider: “Don’t be so stubborn. Who doesn’t care about the money these days? As the saying goes, ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ We all work the same number of shifts over the month and you see as many patients as anyone and your professional skills are as good as anyone’s, but your pay is a lot less. Are you really so angelic that you no longer need to eat? Do you see yourself as a bodhisattva leading the masses to some Buddhist heaven?” Following my colleague’s “advice,” I gradually came to understand the true meaning of the saying, “Nature selects, the fittest survives.”
Going Along with the Hospital Admissions Scam
Faced with the cruel realities of hospital life, I had no choice but to change my ways and go along with the management’s rules. In order to do the job given to me and get paid more, I also started to bury my conscience and send patients who didn’t need to stay in hospital up to the wards. I usually had a smile on my face as I cajoled and deceived these patients, and they never knew what was going on. In order to get the proper treatment, they always trusted and obeyed everything I said, and were even very grateful. How could they know that behind their doctor’s smile there was an expert executioner? I remember one time when I examined a woman who just had a minor gynecological inflammation. In order to get more money out of her I scared her by saying: “Your illness is quite serious. If we don’t hurry up and admit you to hospital, it’s going to be a big headache to treat.” The patient meekly asked me what the “illness” was and I told her it was xxx, a kind of viral infection. The woman got very frightened and started crying. I immediately felt remorse for deceiving her and wanted to tell her the truth, but then I thought about how not doing my given job would not only mean being mocked by my colleagues and criticized by my managers but would also mean less pay. So I gritted my teeth and stayed silent. Due to my intimidation the woman ended up staying in the hospital for a period of time. When I first started behaving like this, I would still feel a bit of compassion for the patients, but as time went by my conscience began to slowly disappear and I was left feeling more and more numb.
Material Comforts Can Never Relieve Spiritual Suffering
My whole being became consumed with the drive to make money, and besides cheating the patients I took any opportunity that arose in the hospital to further line my pockets. In our department, if the doctors did surgery on patients they could pocket the fees themselves without having to share them with the hospital. So to make even more money we began to grab as many operations as we could. There are always risks involved with surgery, but in order to increase our salaries we became reckless, and within a month these under-the-table fees were several times greater than our monthly salaries. With a purse always full of cash I started buying designer goods. The quality of my clothes and accessories rose dramatically, and if I saw some cosmetics that I liked I wouldn’t hesitate to get my credit card out and buy them. My friends and relatives started to look at me admiringly. But in the middle of the night, when everything was quiet, I would think of how I was doing operations in the hospital under the table. What would happen if I slipped up one day? Thinking of this was enough to make me shiver. Every day all of my energies and brainpower was going into making money without the least bit of conscience. I was living like a zombie and I didn’t know why I was living on this earth or what death was about. I had absolutely no direction in my life…. My spiritual unrest and suffering were torturing me to the point of losing sleep, and this is when I realized that material comfort could never solve the problem of the fear in my heart. In fact, the more my immoral gains, the more I lived in fear and agitation …
The Grace of Salvation ofComes to Me
One day in May 2007, I was chatting with a colleague who knew me well, who said: “We’ve all gotten plenty of money and we enjoy having all these designer clothes and high-end goods. By any definition, we should be happy and contented but none of us feel that way. In fact, we feel empty and ill at ease.” My colleague’s words described how I was feeling exactly. Wasn’t I just like that? But who could clearly say what the root of the problem was? As I was pondering over this question, my colleague told me that she believed in God and that in God’s words she had found the answers she needed. She took out a book and read a passage of God’s words to me: “For example, if you ask some evildoers: ‘Why do you do that?’ They will answer: ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This one phrase expresses the root of the problem: The logic of Satan has become people’s lives, and no matter what they do, whether it’s for some purpose or other, they are only doing it for themselves. People all think that ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ that this is just the way it is, so everyone should live only for themselves. ‘Securing a position for creature comforts’ is the life and the philosophy of man, and it also represents man’s nature. ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ this statement of Satan’s is precisely its poison, and when internalized by man it becomes man’s nature. Satan’s nature is exposed through this statement; it completely represents it. This poison becomes man’s life and becomes the foundation of his existence; corrupted humanity has been consistently dominated by this for thousands of years” (“How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks). The colleague then fellowshiped about this with me: “For the last few thousand years, mankind has been under the influence of Satan and has been absorbing Satan’s absurdly mistaken teachings. All this ‘Money is first,’ ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ ‘Nature selects, the fittest survives,’ etc. These satanic philosophies of life have become the rules and mottos for our existence on Earth. We treat Satan’s ridiculous ideas as something positive that should be followed, and if we don’t live by these things then other people will see us as offbeat and weird and we’ll have no way to have standing and survive in society. But for us to live by these satanic philosophies and always be seeking ways to make money from our patients means that despite having the luxuries and comforts that money can buy, despite having standing in society, we can never feel happy and content. All we feel instead is fear, agitation, emptiness, and pain. Satan uses these toxic methods to corrupt us and fool us so that we remain under its power, continuously tortured and abused…. If we want to rid ourselves of this painful existence and stop being corrupted by Satan, we must come before the Lord of Creation and accept God’s salvation and provisions for life. This is the only way to escape Satan’s clutches and live under the care and protection of God. As God’s words say: ‘Only when man receives the salvation of God and His provision of life to them can the needs, yearning to explore, and spiritual emptiness of man be resolved’ (‘God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
These words of God’s and the fellowshiping of my colleague moved me to the bottom of my heart. I remembered how I used to act with conscience when treating my patients, always upholding the doctor’s oath to prevent death and heal disease. But after being mocked by my colleagues, criticized by the senior management, and seduced by the thought of material gain I too gradually succumbed to the evil trends. The bottom fell out of my morality and now I would do anything to make money without the slightest consideration for my patients’ plight or whether or not they lived or died. Yes, I did satisfy all of my material desires and win the admiration of those around me, but the glamour on the surface was never able to erase the pain I was feeling deep in my soul. What that deep place in my soul needed most wasn’t material comfort but God’s salvation, and it was only by coming before God, gaining the provision for life in His words that I was able to rid myself of Satan’s corruption and affliction and regain the likeness of a human being who has self-respect and integrity. As a result, I gladly accepted the work of the last days ofand soon began my church life with the brothers and sisters. We read God’s words and fellowshiped about truths, and I saw how the brothers and sisters were all innocent and open, being honest. Whenever they revealed their corrupt disposition, they were able to use God’s words to self-reflect and thus gain knowledge of themselves, and were able to seek truths to resolve problems. They supported each other and got along harmoniously without ever engaging in intrigue or back-biting. In all my years I had never encountered a group like this; it was like another world, and it was the life that I had been yearning for deep in my soul. I loved and treasured my new life and quickly integrated into the big, warm family.
Events Reveal the Depth of My Debasement
One day when I was on duty an old couple came in, and on examining them I discovered that they had a common bacterial infection that could be adequately treated with some ordinary over-the-counter drugs. But if I just prescribed these drugs, I wouldn’t make any money. So with a habitual flourish of my pen I prescribed drugs that were many times more expensive so that I could make a commission. But when the old couple went to the pharmacy and they added up their bill for the drugs, they discovered that they didn’t have enough cash at hand and had to leave empty-handed.
After finishing my shift I suddenly felt nauseous and very dizzy. I wondered: I’ve always been healthy so how come I suddenly feel this way. On arriving home I hurriedly knelt before God and prayed and searched. Later, I read these words of God’s: “You may do something and not have any particular feeling about it, and others don’t know either, but God knows. He will not let you go, and He will discipline you. The work of theis very detailed. He very carefully observes people’s every word and action, their every act and move, and their every thought and idea so that people can gain internal awareness of these things” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). And that’s when it struck me that the discomfort I was feeling was the loving hand of God, His and chastisement, coming into me. I reflected on my behavior and actions during the day and how I’d been only concerned with benefiting myself and prescribed those expensive drugs at the expense of an old couple who had to leave the hospital without any medication. By causing their treatment to be delayed wasn’t I cheating them? I thought about how every day I was consumed with calculating how much commission I could get for each prescription or how much I could charge for each operation. My head was so full of thoughts of money that I had become a heartless, inhumane doctor who didn’t care a jot about her patients. But God had examined all of my motivations and intentions—not even one of my thoughts was able to escape God’s sight—so this time when I did something evil, God didn’t have the heart to let me fall into Satan’s trap and net, and instead caused me physical discomfort to make me self-reflect and know myself better. God made me see that He hated my behavior and actions, which were not those of a proper human being. When I thought of this I felt deep remorse, and coming before God I prayed: “Oh God! Thank You for letting me see that I have been so deeply corrupted by Satan to the extent that I have lost my good conscience. Oh God! I’m willing to repent in Your name and will try to be a person with conscience and humanity according to Your words….”
Living in True Happiness on the Basis of God’s Words
One day a young woman came to my clinic for treatment, and as soon as she walked into the room she began to plead with me: “Doctor, please, please prescribe some decent medicine for me. I itch all over my body, and it’s been going on for ages. I’ve been to all the other hospitals, big and small, and have spent almost 10,000 yuan so far but the itch is still there. If you can help me, I’ll pay as much as I have to.” As soon as I heard that, I was filled with sly delight and I thought: So you’ve gotten plenty of money—it must be my lucky day. You came to me, so you deserve to be fleeced. For a moment I quickly considered which expensive medicine could bring me the most commission, and then, with a flourish of my pen, I wrote out the prescription. But just as I was giving the prescription to the patient, I suddenly thought of some words of God’s that I had read a few days before: “That serpent-like tongue of yours will eventually ruin the flesh of yours that wreaks destruction and carries out abominations, and those hands of yours that are covered with the blood of unclean spirits will also eventually pull your soul into hell, so why do you not leap on this opportunity to cleanse your hands that are covered with filth? And why do you not take advantage of this opportunity to cut out that tongue of yours that speaks unrighteous words? Could it be that you are willing to suffer under the flames of hell for your two hands and your tongue and lips?” (“Your Character Is So Lowly!” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s strict words made me feel that He was almost in front of me, asking: “Could it be that you are willing to suffer under the flames of hell for your two hands and your tongue and lips?” I felt a moment of fear and humiliation. Everything that I had been thinking was evil, without the tiniest bit of goodness in it. God knew that I didn’t have the strength to overcome sin by myself and was concerned that I might deviate from His path again and so had chosen these strict words to judge and chastise me just in time. He had made me see that His righteous disposition could not be offended, and my heart turned to God once more with fear and respect and I turned my back on doing evil. I quickly took the prescription back from the patient and said to her: “How about I do a full examination to see what’s causing your ailment, and then I’ll write you a prescription?” After examining her I told her: “This itch isn’t a bacterial infection. You’ve gotten lice, and you can get rid of them cheaply and easily. I guarantee that you’ll sleep very well tonight.” The patient didn’t really seem to believe what I’d said, so I looked at her reassuringly while nodding my head. After she had gone I felt for the first time the pleasure of behaving in accordance with God’s words. Two days later I met the patient again, and she burst into tears as words of gratitude tumbled out: “Thank you, Doctor Liu! Thank you, Doctor Liu! You really are a good doctor. I spent all that money in the past on those other doctors but you told me how to cure my ailment for just a few yuan. I’m so lucky to have met such a good doctor. I can’t thank you enough….” On hearing what the patient said, I silently thanked and praised God. I knew it wasn’t because I was particularly good but because of the effect that the words of Almighty God had had on me.
The Beginning of a New Life
God had used His words to judge me, provide for me, lead and guide me, and brought my vanished conscience slowly back to life so that I could live a little like a true human being. Now my life is not just about making money, and I’m no longer basing my life on satanic poisons like “Money is first,” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “the fittest survives” etc. I have let God’s words be my new life and the guidelines by which I act. In God’s words I have found the true direction for life and have a target for how to behave. I am still singingand pray-reading God’s words with the brothers and sisters every day and I am trying my best to fulfill my duties as one of the created. I am like a prodigal son who has been lost for many years and feels a wonderful warmth, peace and security when he finally returns to his mother’s embrace. All the glory be to Almighty God!