I didn’t do the reading. In fact, I haven’t read any of my bible reading this week. I’ve been shuttling myself from doctors offices and hospitals to explore a mystery stabbing pain in my gut. So I didn’t read my bible, but not once did worry consume me. You see I’m a white middle-class woman in American with employer sponsored health insurance, so I can go to the doctor when I need to, and I know that God’s got whatever this is in his plan.
You see – I’m solidly a science based Christian. I go to doctors, believe in evolution, and have never responded to a threat with a prayer only approach. I pray not as a preventative measure, but a responsive one full of gratitude – God has given us the strength, and tools to succeed in his plan and we must use these to act. So this week, while not reading the bible I come back to James, whom we have not met yet in this project, but is a fond friend in my own Biblical studies.
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
-James 2.14-17 (KJV)
We are called to respond with action, not just prayer. This is why Christians become doctors – to use their God given skills to serve God’s people. This is why I am becoming a teacher – to use my God given calling to serve God’s people. This is why countless church women for countless years have appeared at the doorsteps of families with illness, newborns, or lost jobs casserole in hand. We pray for them, but we also provide – because we are called to love one another and support one another as God’s children and God’s workers here on Earth. Generally, I am the person serving, but today I am the one broken, and so I call upon the skills God has given another person- a fine surgeon who will kindly remove the source of my pain. And I will pray, not for myself, but for this surgeons strength and wisdom and faith so that he can continue serving not just me, but the thousands of other women he meets.
And while I just told you action is called for just as much as prayer, I’ll ask you pray for this surgeon too. And don’t send casserole.
Yours in faith,
PS- While we are not a political blog, I think it is fair to remind you that I am blessed to be in the position I am in. Women without my means, access, and insurance are not be able to seek refuge in medical care. This surgery, which will take about an hour and has little risk, would cost tens of thousands of dollars without insurance and is not available in much of the developing world. If you are called today to act, visit Charity Navigator to find reliable and honorable groups to support – and direct your vote to candidates in your area who support access and support for all of God’s people.