This has been an important and emotional week for me and I’ve had to take a few days to process it all. I wanted to share it with you though because it’s been so meaningful that I thought it would be a good way to commemorate the 1000th post. On Wed my company, Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, celebrated its 140th birthday. It was a momentous occasion with speeches by the CEO and local dignitaries. Special videos and timelines were created to celebrate our company’s contributions to the field of medicine. We had cupcakes and a new sculpture of Col. Lilly was added to our courtyard. On hand for the dedication was the Mayor of Indianapolis and the great-great-great grandaughter of Eli Lilly. We heard many people pay tribute to our founder – he was an incredible man of great genius and compassion. The company’s slogan “Take what you find and make it better” really exemplifies Col. Lilly’s legacy. He, his sons, and grandsons number among my heroes because of their dedication to improving the health as well as the community of the people they served. The family had a hand in founding the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the precursor to Central Indiana’s United Way, and a business that employees thousands. Our medicines have saved the lives of millions around the world and improved their quality of life. It’s easy to get lost in the frustrations of a career in discovery science, but this week reminded me that I’m honored and blessed to be counted as part of this company’s future – a future in healing. It’s a precious calling to wake up each morning knowing I’m part of making the world a better place through advancements in medicine and a deep compassion for those we serve.
The following day I was immersed in the nightmares that occur when medical research is divorced from empathy and human dignity. Concurrent with our birthday celebration was our Bioethics week. This year the focus was on WWII and the birth of modern bioethics since this is also the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials. I attended a lecture on wartime human testing, both in Germany and the US, and how those atrocities fueled regulations that promoted advancements in science but protected the safety of individuals. It was a fascinating discussion. Then that afternoon I was privileged to listen to Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of Dr. Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz. She spoke of her traumatic imprisonment and mistreatment, but the focus of her message was on healing – a fitting topic for a pharmaceutical company. It was not a pill, but an outpouring of forgiveness that brought healing to Eva.
She spoke of the long journey of forgiveness and how it freed her soul and gave meaning to her life. Although she talked about events 70 years ago, it was amazing how applicable her comments were. We face similar issues today – concerns with the ethics of research are rampant as we debate the cost of our knowledge, the world is full of refugees fleeing homes destroyed by war, the capacity for evil and cruelty seems to know no bounds. But its influence is completely halted in the face of forgiveness and love. The message of healing is one the world is desperate to hear. I was reminded of a passage of Scripture I read in my devotions recently: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Cor 5:18-20
I love these verses because they emphasize that God’s desire for us is healing and peace too. He’s come near to us and offered us forgiveness and a relationship with Him. And He invites us to participate with Him in sharing peace with the world! What a privilege it is to speak peace and comfort into a hurting world, into broken families, into wounded hearts. We all have the opportunity to be a blessing to those around us. Let’s all resolve to be voices of healing to those we meet.
I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for reading my blog. I appreciate your kind comments and hope very much that my posts bring a bit of joy to you. Here’s to the next 1000!
Blessings to you,