shoreline“God will judge us by what we did to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings. I don’t think God cares what doctrine we embrace.”

~ Abraham Verghese

After a long journey of considering myself a hopeful agnostic I was received into the Orthodox faith back on April 4th, Lazarus Saturday, the Orthodox calendar for Pascha doesn’t always coincide with Easter for other Christians. I love being an Orthodox Christian. I’m moved by the love and beauty of Christ’s sacrifice for us. But I will never believe that that means that all Non-Orthodox or Non-Christians are going to Hell. I just can’t. I know far too many atheists that demonstrate more love, compassion and humility than those who wear crosses and profess to love Jesus while passing judgment on anyone and everyone. I also fully support the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage and it hurts my heart to see so many from my faith speak out against this decision. I realize that my liberal views most likely make me an outlier in the Orthodox faith. But I also believe with all of my heart that Christ’s love and judgment is far beyond our limited understanding. I try to focus on what keeps myself from being close to God rather than what I perceive to be holding others back. 

I haven’t read Verghese’s books yet but I must read Cutting for Stone! This book sounds amazing and I don’t know how I haven’t come across it earlier. This last quote really resonates with me regarding the practice of medicine. I know I’m only a nurse but I’m still struck by the truth of this and want to keep this in mind when caring for others.

“We come unbidden into this life, and if we are lucky we find a purpose beyond starvation, misery, and early death which, lest we forget, is the common lot. I grew up and I found my purpose and it was to become a physician. My intent wasn’t to save the world as much as to heal myself. Few doctors will admit this, certainly not young ones, but subconsciously, in entering the profession, we must believe that ministering to others will heal our woundedness. And it can. but it can also deepen the wound.”

~ Abraham Verghese

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