Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scared of the Dark

The last episode of Grey's Anatomy deals with our fears of being alone in the dark. When we were children we were scared of monsters. When we grow older our monsters are different - self-doubt, loneliniess and regret, but we are still scared of the dark. We are scared because we feel we are all alone. The darkness that we are in are the challenges and difficulties of our life. When we are sick or one of our beloved is seriously ill. When we are beset with financial difficulties. When we have estranged relationships with our friends and families. When we are faced with pressure from work, school or play. Everyday there is darkness in this broken world. We feel scared in the dark. But as Christians, we have the courage to deal with the darkness in this broken world. We know that God is with us. In our most trying times, the body of Christ - the church, comforts us. Family and friends are there to share with us the love of Jesus Christ. Even in the darkest moment of our life - God is there because God is still Lord of all - even in the dark. Gods light shines brighter than any darkness that makes us scared. And so as Christians who always put our faith and hope to the promise of Christ, we are not scared. For God is with us. Nighttime isn't so scary because we realize we are not all alone in the dark.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Gift of Faith

In Grey's Anatomy this week, they introduced a couple of new characters. But what interested me was the belief of the Navajo patient that they had. The patient had beliefs that his cardio thoracic surgeon did not necessarily agree with. The patient had a heterotopic heart transplant 6 years ago, meaning another heart was put to help his own heart to work. Now he wants the "piggy-backed" heart removed because he claims that the ghost of the person who owns the heart is haunting him and he wants the heart back so they can get rid of it ritually. Here's the deal, the cardio-thoracic surgeon does not agree with his belief but rather insists on adhering to the medical protocol of throwing the heart into medical waste.

What we see here is an interplay of two belief systems, science and religion. I love what the Navajo patient replied to his doctor when they told him that she doesn't have beliefs but only adhere to rules. The Navajo patient reminded him that adhering to rules, thinking logically and scientifically is a belief in Science. He, the Navajo patient, believes in more than that - more than what Science can explain and demand.
The patient is telling us that people may have different beliefs and we adhere to that. This phrases are familiar - "If you believe that, fine. This is what I believe. This is what I do. I make my mind on what I believe."

For us Christians, we always talk about what we believe in. We also talk about how our belief in God defines our faith. Our belief equals our faith. We think that our belief, our faith, is our own action. We forget that faith is a gift from God. We do not make our own faith, thus whatever we believe in is something that was given to us and not out of our own doing or thinking. It is not even by our own choice. Our Christian beliefs are informed by the faith that was given to us by God. So what do you believe in?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The last episode focused on Dr. Hunt who just came from a tour in Iraq. He comes back to the "real" world and struggles to integrate himself back. Seattle Grace Hospital is a little community that has their own rules and social norms that medical practitioners adhere to. Because Dr Hunt served for several years in the desert - in the wild, he is an outsider to the Seattle Grace community. He is the only person left from his unit and ever since he have lost the ability to relate and interact with people. So he tries hard to be part of the society again by becoming an ER doc at Seattle Grace. But the renowned and world famous surgeons of the hospital despise the outsider because he is radical, different and wild.

The plot of this story reminds me of the leper whom Jesus healed (Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40). Lepers are viewed as unclean and thus shunned by the society so they become marginalized. In order for them to be accepted by the society again, the priest must declare them clean and fit to be part of the society. So when Jesus heals the leper and tells him to show himself to the priest, Jesus does not only want to cure his physical illness but also to integrate him back to the society. Jesus always emphasizes the human need for relationship and community. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors... even our enemies - those despised. Christians are called to have reconcile our division with the marginalized and the unwanted. Remember, Jesus dined and related with the despised taxpayers, the sinners, the prostitutes, the poor, the sick and all who have been pushed to the edges by the society. Christian communities are called to be an alternative reality where everybody can be embraced, reconciled and integrated. Sometimes, we might be Dr. Hunt - the leper that Jesus have healed.