Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Literature: Tales from Nagasaki

He left the university, he wrote, believing that a doctor held the patients’ lives in his hands’ but actual medical experiences taught him that all life is in God’s hands. He continues: “Those words in the Sermon on the Mount, ‘blessed are those who weep,’ should be taken literally by doctors. A real doctor suffers with each patient. If the patient is frightened of dying, so is the doctor. When the patient at long last gets well and says ‘Thank you,’ the doctor responds ‘Thank you.’… How mistaken I was as a young doctor when I thought medical practice was a matter of medical technique. That would make a doctor a body mechanic! No, a doctor must be a person who feels in his own body and spirit all that the patience suffers in body and spirit… I’ve come to understand that medicine is a vocation, a personal call from God – which means that examining a patient, taking an X-ray or giving an injection is part of the Kingdom of God. When I realized that, I found myself praying for each patient I treated.”

(ch. 29, “The Navel of the World,” pp. 234-235)