Those of you who know Gerv but don't follow his blog might want to read his latest post. It's called Thank God For Cancer
. And with a title like that, people who don't know Gerv might want to read it too.
Gerv follows the kind of Christianity that most 21st
century liberals, which would be most of my flist, to a greater or lesser degree, despise or even hate. His theology is about everybody going to Hell except him and a handful of people who very precisely share his beliefs (which are not exactly liberal fluffy doctrine, as you might guess). Gerv is also a wonderful person, kind, thoughtful, generous... intelligent too, but lots of my friends are bright; it's in moral qualities that he's exceptional. And he's very sick; he may be completely serene about it, but I'm not!
I'm not saying that post is a fantastic piece of theology; it's really not. But it's a fairly impressive statement of personal faith. Comments on this are restricted, but not completely disabled. I hope I don't need to mention that I do not expect anyone to insult my friend.
|Date:||April 4th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)|
16 hours after journal entry
Hospital chaplaincy is tremendously educational, yeah. :-) I'm loving it, but it's exhausting and overwhelming.
One of the questions my supervisor asked me in my interview, before I was admitted to the chaplaincy program, was, "how would you feel if you were called to the bedside of a religious fundamentalist, or someone who believed Jews were damned?" I told him I would be okay with it, and I really believe I would be. In moments of crisis, what matters is not whether and how we agree; what matters is our common humanity in the face of profoundly difficult embodied realities like sickness and suffering and death.
Of course, when the patient in question refuses my presence because I'm the wrong kind of chaplain...? *wry grin* That's hard for me. But in the end I have to honor it, for the same reason that I would be happy to pray by his bedside if he wanted me there; and it's good practice in letting rejection roll off my shoulders and recognizing that it's Not About Me.
Anyway. Thank you again for pointing me to his post; this is fascinating stuff.
|Date:||April 7th, 2006 09:38 am (UTC)|
4 days after journal entry, 10:38 am (livredor's time)
You're so cool. Religious conviction that causes people to devote serious effort to comforting the sick and dying is the kind I most respect. A strong faith is one thing, but actually practically doing that emotionally and physically hard work for the people who most need it, that's really admirable. Thank you, you're an inspiration.
I'm also a big fan of real tolerance, and extending it to include people who might not think much of one's own religious path. I knew you were committed to that kind of value, but it's not any less impressive and heartening to hear it again.