(Blog 10 as I continue with stories from our trip to St. Kitts.)
We visited Jill and Andy on St. Kitts Island during Jill’s break from studies at Ross School of Veterinary Medicine. This curious mother here had to see where her daughter has been studying for the past four months. Although the school was on break, Jill was able to take us on a tour of the grounds and buildings. We saw the small student housing accommodations where Jill and Andy had been living. (They now live off campus in part of a house that they rent.) We saw classrooms, the library, barns that house animals, the small on-campus convenience store, and many other different buildings.
Then she showed us the anatomy lab.
There was a nasty smell that permeated the anatomy lab. I believe the smell was formaldehyde – you know – the nasty stuff that is used to keep organic body parts preserved. Animal body parts. It didn’t help that there was half a butchered donkey in the lab. According to Jill, it was the model for some final test. “And what is this stringy slimy tendon here called? And what is this bulbous bloody part here?”
(cough cough gag gag)
There were two huge walk in refrigerators in the anatomy lab. Of course I took the refrigerator tour. Inside were these huge bathtub shaped vessels filled with more nasty preservative liquid and …
… animal body parts.
Oh Lordy it was nasty. In one vat there was a horse’s head sticking out. Like a big slimy trophy. Just the head. In another vat there were dog legs and dog parts. Then there was the vat with goats … and … you get the picture. Between the disgusting visual assault and the nauseating rotting yet preserved flesh smell, I did not enjoy this part of the tour and quickly asked to move out of this building and on to the next. I had had enough.
Today I was reading Hebrews chapter 5. Verses twelve through fourteen caught my attention and brought to mind the animal anatomy lab:
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The book of Hebrews was originally addressed to early Jewish converts to Christianity who were tempted to rejoin Jewish groups. They were showing spiritual immaturity. The author of the book of Hebrews was describing them as yet babes who were still drinking milk when they really should be on solid food by this time and showing strength and maturity in their new faith. This made me think of the veterinary anatomy lab. It was not for the weak. For every young person who simply adores cute kitties and puppies, and plasters their room with animal calendars and photos, and have dreams of becoming a vet and working with animals someday … well … you better make sure you are ready for the anatomy lab!
Jill was quite comfortable with the sights and smells of the anatomy lab. She showed strength and maturity. She laughed at my weak stomach over the whole thing.
Likewise, Christians need to get into the nitty gritty of God’s word and ways so they can be ready for situations that may take courage, strength, or even a strong stomach! I myself have been trying to explore God’s word a little more every day and, I promise you, it is much easier than a walk through the anatomy lab. Smells a whole lot better, too!
Not everyone can become a veterinarian. But you can become an educated follower of Christ. Get into His words folks, and start chewing!