Near the close of 1999 Cathy and I moved to Largo, Florida where I was hired to become the first medical director of a church-based medical clinic in the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. The decision to move was as painful as it was life-changing. I believed God had called me to leave a life-long profession in general surgery to manage a Christ centered medical office which was a ministry of a church. Cathy and I were leaving our home, our children, our grandchildren, our church and our life-long friends to settle in a community where we were unknown.
We faced some unforeseen problems with the move, with my Florida medical license and with the full acceptance of the church staff. I have written about some of the obstacles and victories in previous posts. (God Will Make A Way, Parts 1 & 2, Apr. 2016).
The clinic opened for patient care in February, 2000, and we had a complete staff of volunteers, who were as excited to begin as I was. There are so many details to opening and managing a medical clinic, and I had little prior experience in many of the operational aspects of such a venture. One significant hurdle was interacting with the volunteers who were relative strangers. At this point Cathy and I had been church members for only 3 months and had not had time to develop stable relationships. One volunteer who was particularly challenging had a major role in clinic, and there were several occasions in which we disagreed on clinic policies. We were able to work through the issues, but there was some continuing conflict and disagreement.
One morning before clinic opened I was cleaning up my newly furnished consultation room and noted there was a lot of gummy mess on a piece of new furniture. I stepped into the foyer of the office and asked the volunteers, “Do you know where’s the Goo Gone?”
Probably everyone who has been involved in home improvements is familiar with the product Goo Gone. I don’t remember using it until the 1990’s, but it was developed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1984 by a company called Magic American. It is a citrus based product for the removal of greasy, sticky substances and even clothing stains. As all users discover it works very well and leaves a pleasant citrus odor behind. I had seen a bottle of the product in the clinic when we first moved in.
After I asked the question of the volunteers about the Goo Gone, one of them said, “I think she is in a meeting this morning.” I said, “How can Goo Gone be in a meeting? I’m just looking for our bottle of the stuff.” All of a sudden it dawned us I was asking about a product, and she was talking about a person! We all broke down into laughter after the responder said, “I thought you were now calling her The Goo!” “I would never do that”, I said, “and we must all promise we will never tell her about this conversation. “We never did, and to the best of my knowledge “The Goo” never heard the account.