On February 24th, 2013 we posted this blog. During that time we were reading the book- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It is an important story how Henrietta’s (a black woman) lifesaving blood was used without her permission. As we Celebrate Black History month let us take a look back. At how Ms. Lacks Life has had impact on our lives today and how service without relationship can be avoided.

Ms. Lacks was a remarkable woman who was a patient at Johns Hopkins hospital in the early 1950′s. The doctors and researchers at the time were looking for human cells to use as standards for their experiments. To develop new medicines, and new treatments. These doctors used Ms. Lacks’ cells, without her consent; because they found that her cells did not die when stored in a laboratory environment. They justified their use of her cells by their benefit to mankind, and the results of their research.

But, these researchers overlooked their responsibilities, and their relationship to their patient. They ignored their Hippocratic Oath which protects that doctor – patient relationship. We had a recent trip to the National Museum of African American history.  One of the exhibits was a dress that belonged to Harriet Tubman, along with her hymnbook. Harriet played a key role in the Civil War as a scout and a spy for the Union army.  She also was a “Conductor” of Underground Railroad, and she led 70 people to freedom. Harriet Tubman was not led by good works, or even by the compelling need which was great.  The key to her guidance can be found in her hymnbook and in her faith.  Harriet sought God’s direction.  Harriet’s direction came from her relationship with her Savior.

Today, we see many examples of service without relationship in our movies and media. We see this in the Bible as well. Yet, Jesus admonished His disciples that service without relationship is to be avoided. “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 (KJV)

Oswald Chambers in his book: My Utmost for His Highest. Reminds us: “It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him.” God is interested in us, not what we can do for Him. Let’s focus on Him first, and He will guide our service.

If you’d like to watch the HBO TV movie about her life click on the title  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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Pastors, Willie and Rochelle McIntosh

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