physician heal thyself

I know a woman who lives here in my building who has had lots of little maladies over the years. Lots of breathing problems. Over time she’s developed a keen interest in medicine and spends a lot of time reading health books and online medical journals. Would I consult her instead of a medical doctor? Of course not. But if she’s got a little home remedy that I don’t fear will interfere with something I’m doing I might try it.

I guess I see myself the same way with the search I’m on and subjects I care about. As a teen I started on this search to understand myself, God, and the world I live in. I’ve found Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and many others extremely helpful. Each year I’m reading more “intellectual books” than the year before. Does that make me an intellectual or a trusted source? Probably not. I would hope that somehow what I’m reading could benefit others. I hope its not just intellectual masturbation. Anyway, I’ve got friends who started on the same path with me in Bible college and now in pursuit of their graduate educations are on a different path altogether. I’ve got other friends now who don’t share my faith but who are very important to my faith. They speak thousands of pages worth of material to me in their simple desire to be sober, faithful, and close to God as they understand him all the while equally eager to say they don’t. In my experience Francis Schaeffer is wrong: Right belief does not necessarily lead to right action. Bonhoeffer said in Nachfolge: Belief and Obedience is not either or. You can’t have one without the other. (Of course that’s not a quote.)

I want to believe. I want to obey. If I’ve got to be an intellectual to do that than consider me guilty as charged. The end of the whole matter is that I’m sick and I’ll do anything to get better and if I’ve got some little remedies I’ll pass them along. If it doesn’t help you I hope it at least doesn’t hurt.


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