Made Visible

When Dr. Ian Donald was drafted into the Royal Air Force as a medical officer in 1942, he had no idea how the Lord would use the knowledge he gained using sonar and radar. 

In 1946, he was discharged from military service and awarded for his bravery during the war. He returned to practicing medicine.

Remembering the use of medical respirators during his time in the RAF, Dr. Donald developed new respiration devices to be used on newborns, saving many lives as he worked as an Obstetrics doctor and professor. 

Dr. Donald began to wonder if sonar and radar technology could be used to view an unborn baby inside of its mother’s womb. The husband of one of his patients invited him to come tour a factory that used a large industrial ultrasound machine to check for cracks and flaws in welds that held boilers together. 

Dr. Donald came to tour the factory, and he asked the employee who operated the ultrasound machine to demonstrate the device by capturing a sonogram of his thumb bone. 

“All I wanted to know, quite simply, was whether these various masses of tissue differed in their ultrasonic echo characteristics. The results were beyond my wildest dreams…” Dr. Donald later wrote. He authored an article about his discoveries and included the first published sonogram image of a fetus. 

By the 1970’s, ultrasounds were becoming a common tool used by doctors in obstetric care all over the world to determine the health and well-being of unborn babies and their mothers. 

An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of bones, organs, tissue, and cysts that doctors can analyze in order to better treat their patients. It makes visible what before was invisible.

The Apostle John wrote, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.”

Jesus was the love of God made visible. What before had gone unseen since the Fall of Man now was incarnated in the flesh of the Son of Man. Now, the whole world could look at love made visible. The Angels singing at the birth of Christ provided the sound waves that bounced off the Son of God, manifesting what before had been unseen.

Just as God sent Jesus, making His love visible, so Jesus has sent His followers to make His love visible to the rest of the world. His gift continues to multiply as we act as the sound waves, sharing His Good News, that illuminates His Love now visible. 

John’s conclusion? Simple: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.”

Peter’s Hope. John’s Love. James’s Joy. Paul’s Peace. Christ’s Gift.

How will you use the gift of Christ this Advent season?

This article is a preview of the Advent devotions from Sarah Dixon Young entitled, “Receive Him: A Disciple’s Advent.” For more information, please visit

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