Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Global Health

For God so loved the world....John 3:16a (KJV)

President Obama in his speech on national security (5/23/2013) argues for policies that reaffirm our pursuit of justice and a just war in the face of terrorism.  Brain McLaren in his recent book, argues for a stronger but less hostile Christian response to other world religions.  Paul Farmer addresses the global health issues in his book, To Repair the World.   The voices are mixed but the message is clear that healing is the central idea and response to suffering and violence.

The meaning of healing has many facets but begins after seeing and defining the distress and disease.  We need to see the underlying injustice and inequity and respond in clear ways of peace and courage.  Education is one such response that changes and is empowering, but education alone does not necessarily bring purpose to lives.  Many times the purpose is found in a deep longing to make a difference in the lives of others.

For Christians, we look to a model that identifies another reality and purpose,  That reality brings aid, education and understanding to the world out of the Love that has been given to us as a gift.  Love becomes a “verb” that results in the courageous acts that overcome the violence and evil in the world.  Love is at the center of our faith.  Sometimes we just say “God’s Grace”!



McLaren, B. D. (2012). Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World. Jericho Books.

Farmer, P. (2013). To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation. University of California Press. 

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Healing Music

We recognize the power of music to heal even when we don’t completely understand the mechanism.   One of my first exposures to the healing found in music was the work of Stevie Ray Vaughn and his "Caught in the Crossfire”. 

Recently, I heard a new CD by Jim Morgan, Hymnagination.   It is compilation of hymns that bring together some older gospel hymns with common themes.  When you listen to these piano solos, you will hear the familiar tunes with a new ear.  Previously, I mentioned a magnificent collection by Jonathan Elias, The Prayer Cycle. (Hope)  What is common to all is a theme built around common beliefs translated into music in a new and creative way.

In the broadcast “On Being”(5/2/2013), we learn about the neuroscience of creativity.  A short summary is that we need to “slow down” to be able to put the “pieces together” in new ways.  These insights help us put in context the new experiences and directions of our lives.

What I have learned is that the deepest language of healing is found within music that captures those beliefs and experiences and leads to new directions in our lives.  Healing music has a resonance with our deep knowledge and pain.   This resonance is what breaks and “names the silences”.  



Hage, M. L., Tetel-Hanks, J., Bushyhead, A. (1994). Caught in the Crossfire. Duke University Medical Center

Previous Post: Hope  June 18, 2012

McGregor BA, Antoni MH. Psychological intervention and health outcomes among women treated for breast cancer: a review of stress pathways and biological mediators.  Brain, Behavior, & Immunity.  23(2):159-66, 2009 Feb.

Hauerwas, Stanley  Naming the Silences, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1990