if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love,
if any common sharing in the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete
by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)
If you have had a recent interaction with the healthcare system, you may have experienced an encounter where you respond by filling out a survey, providing a list of medications and/or helping someone “filling in” a computer screen. One question you may have to respond to is “Do you have any health beliefs that may interfere with your health care?”
I need to confess that I have been part of this reality that can ask the wrong question as well as hide physicians (and others) behind the technology. What if the technology helped us ask “better questions” or helped us “listen better” to the answers?
We know that the patient’s story and it’s telling is a primary care response. What we also know is that our faith communities help us all to tell our stories and can be a community that listens. It is a place where we can ask the healing questions and provide that primary care that is too easily lost in our anonymous and lonely planet.
What if the questions were, “Is your faith important for us to understand during your treatment?” or “Will your faith community be part of your care?”. What if the answer was that your church is a critical part of your care and your healing faith?
Hage, M. L., & Brouwer, D. (2013). Becoming a (Healing) Agent of Jesus. Retrieved from http://www.dougsblog.org/2013/01/
Shuman, J., & Volck, B. M. D. (2006). Reclaiming the Body: Christians and the Faithful Use of Modern Medicine (The Christian Practice of Everyday Life) (1 ed.). Brazos Press
Koenig HG. The spiritual history. Southern Medical Journal. 99(10):1159-60, 2006 Oct
Mueller PS. Plevak DJ. Rummans TA. Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: implications for clinical practice. [Review] [147 refs] Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 76(12):1225-35, 2001 Dec.