"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day



I have little faith in modern medicine, and the sum of my life experience and my career has brought me to a point where it is next to impossible for me to believe in anything miraculous. If ever anyone tells me that God has spoken to them, I am to immediately hospitalize them. Not much room for miracles or divine intervention there. I had a patient once who was dying of AIDS and struggling with a decades old heroin addiction, when one day he stopped using, and started gaining weight. The color came back into his face and the light came back into his eyes. I asked him what had happened and he told me this incredible story about how God spoke to him, and told him he had a greater purpose for him, and that he would live many more years. While I sat listening to this story, a million thoughts were running through my head. "How incredible!" and "How insane!" were the ones that reigned. I long for faith such as this.

This was what came to mind when I read this story today. It seems that the president of Gambia, a country where over 1% of the population is infected with HIV, has been endowed by God with the power to cure HIV every Thursday, and asthma on Friday and Saturdays. He plans to cure everyone, but can only help 10 people each Thursday, so they must be patient. And he has instructed anyone wanting to be healed in the future to stop taking their HIV medications, as they don't need anymore. This is absolutely horrifying.

But then again, what if it's true? Who am I to say that this is impossible, that this man is either very corrupt or suffering from some serious delusions? That God does not work that way? Is it possible that modern medicine is getting in the way of the will and work of God? It's pretty distressing, isn't it?


Little Light said...

God has spoken to me. At least I think it was him.

Matthew said...

A God that gave 10 miracles to the president of Gambia on thursdays would be a stingy, sadistic bastard. Screw that God.

A. Lo said...

I dunno, that God might be better than a God who healed none of the people of Gambia. I'd take 10 every Thursday over 0.

A. Lo said...

Been mulling this over. Makes me think about the sick man Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda (John 5). We know for a fact that there were all sorts of sick people there--blind, lame, paralyzed--and yet Jesus only healed that one. (I think it's pretty safe to assume that he didn't heal any others at that time, because we're told he "slipped into the crowd" after healing the invalid.)

Could Jesus have come back and healed the rest of them later in an undocumented account? Sure. Did he? We'll never know. But if he meant to heal them all at once, why wouldn't he have done it all the first time?

So what conclusions are we to draw from this?