Saturday, November 29, 2014

Amputees

A man has new arms. Yes, he had lost both arms and both legs, but now he has new arms - and might be able to get new legs, if he wants to go through another surgery and massive rehab.

This is because of medical science. Doctors and researchers learned how to take limbs from a donor and graft them onto another person. It will take months, perhaps as much as a couple of years, for his nerves to extend all the way to his hands. But he can fully look forward to having working arms and hands again.

One thing I found extremely cool was this:
“There have been about 70 hand transplants in about 50 patients around the world,” said Dr. Simon Talbot, director of the Brigham’s upper extremity transplantation. “This is certainly becoming more common. There are aspects of it that may be a first, but for the most part, this is, for us, becoming an operation that we are comfortable with.”
The doctors find this procedure "an operation that we are comfortable with" - how cool is that? I mean it. It's soon going to be routine for people who lose a limb to be able to get a new one. That is outstanding.

I was also extremely happy to see that in none of the stories I read about this included anybody thanking God.You know what I mean. There's a disaster or a disease, and engineers or techs or doctors do something fantastic and save lives or limbs, and then God gets the credit. Like the radio preacher I heard in Georgia last summer, who spent five minutes listing people who needed prayers, one of them a woman who had suffered from severe headaches for years. "Now she has relief," he said, adding parenthetically "they did a procedure", so "let's thank God for her healing and pray for her continued relief." Or miners are buried alive and dug out after days, and we hear how "I asked God to let me live and he listened to me" or that it was "a miracle of God." No, in this story all the praise is given to the donor and the doctors.

And speaking of God and amputees... Over as Slacktivist Fred ran a three-part series looking at the "God hates shrimp" question, explaining why it's far more than a sarcastic one-liner from atheists: part one, part two, and part three. Another of those questions came to my mind when I saw this headline. You know the one: "Why doesn't God heal amputees?"

Through the centuries faith-healers and those running shrines have routinely declared that  God heals cripples, people with cancer, blind people, all sorts of things ... but not amputees. God has never managed to restore a finger. When you ask why, there are generally a few stand-by answers: (a) it would be too obvious a display of God's power and thus destroy faith and free will; (b) somehow it's really better for that amputee; or (c) mysterious ways. None of which are very persuasive to someone who doesn't already believe them.

But here is a take that genuinely baffles me:
I feel God chose me to be a very special mother to these special children, and I had no idea until seeing the topic about why doesn't God heal amputees that people used this as a reason to doubt the existence of God. As the mother of one child with no feet and the potential mother of another child that will be missing some of his lower limbs as well, I've never seen it in that light. Rather, I have seen His calling me to be a special mother as a way to teach others of the blessings of God. He is also calling me to give these children the opportunity to be added to a Christian family that will teach them to love the Lord in their special way and to understand that we can overcome all things through Christ.
Ooookay. God is creating children with no feet - children with no feet - so that this woman can be special and teach others about the blessings of God, the God who creates children with no feet. The children who are just pawns in the game of this woman's specialness and God's blessing-showing.

I do wonder if she would even consider letting her kids get feet. At what point does "learning that we can overcome all things through Christ" become refusing to overcome things otherwise?

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