By Heidi Jost
Knowledge is at our fingertips. This has infused us with a sense of confidence and understanding about health and disease that we actually may not have. I know well the adrenaline rush of online research that causes me to think I’ve found a cause or a cure for someone’s suffering.
While we have advanced greatly from the time when Greek and Roman “doctors” treated all sickness by the four bodily “humours” (fluids) theory, scientific medical understanding still has a long way to go.
It is humbling to say “I don’t know” in the face of suffering. Look at Job of the Bible, and his friends. They sat in silence with him for a week, but after that they couldn’t shut up, offering theory after wrong theory about why Job had experienced such devastating loss. They offered partial truths and diagnoses with a lot of dangerous, false views about God mixed in, and at the end, God told Job to offer sacrifices on their behalf so that He “would not deal with them according to their folly.” Note also that God did not tell Job the cause of or cure for his suffering.
To those who are seeking to help their suffering friend, here are some thoughts to keep in mind: Continue reading…