Posts tagged ‘problems’
by John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
It’s never easy to see tragedies that undo lives and families and communities. In my 30 years of law enforcement I encountered plenty of this sort of thing. Our hearts go out to the community of Newtown, Connecticut, and to all parents and teachers across the country. And yet, as we enter the season of good will and peace on earth, we are challenged to find a way to address the unexplainable. Without some view of the nature of life that transcends all the shortcomings of the human experience I’m certain that I would be adrift in despair.
I have found, though, that in holding onto and affirming what, for me, are fundamental truths, I can find peace.
This is what I feel:
I don’t know why this happened in a cosmic sense, and it’s futile to try and figure it out. My heart says that God did not cause this tragedy, nor turn His back on us.
To me, God is the essence of goodness. And God is complete love. As such, I feel that God loves each one of us as His own creation, including all involved at Sandy Hook School. That love is still with those dear children and staff, embracing them and holding them close. They are with God. More importantly for those trying to cope with the aftermath, divine Love is closer than ever to comfort and strengthen families and communities.
I believe we must be more persevering in our search for solutions to prevent future violence, whether it involves one person or thousands of people. For me, it means praying to know that a loving and good God will guide our desires and actions towards finding solutions.
I, and others, might find ourselves letting go of some cherished beliefs and ideologies in this search for solutions, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us initially feel. Motivated by love for our children and our communities, embracing each other with more patience and attentiveness, we must find a way to work together toward that end.
I believe that being willing to pray for real solutions will bring them to us. We can still feel the “peace that passes all understanding” during this season and beyond by insisting that we will not become cynical and afraid, and knowing that God has not turned away. And when we do that we will find a way to hold these crimes in check.
First published on OregonLive
John Clague is a retired sheriff’s office captain, father of two grown sons, and husband. He now works with the media to ensure accurate representation of Christian Science.
My colleague, Bob Clark from Florida, has written a thoughtful blog challenging the notion that with maturity comes debilitation. He shares a healing of Alzheimer’s disease achieved through spiritual means alone. Whether or not you are a “senior”, this is a blog worth reading. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
By Bob Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida
I live in an area with a lot of wonderful older people, “seniors” as they’re often called. I love seeing seniors walking on the beach, fishing off the piers, driving convertibles, playing golf and generally enjoying life in their later years. These are the true “senior moments”.
So it bothers me deeply when I read about Alzheimer’s disease threatening to demote seniors from their well-earned place and status to a lower level where their “senior-hood” can become a curse rather than a blessing.
Here are some startling statistics from American Family Physician, “The financial and social costs of Alzheimer’s disease are staggering. In the United States, the disease accounts for about $100 billion per year in medical and custodial expenses, with the average patient requiring an expenditure of about $27,000 per year for medical and nursing care. In addition, 80 percent of caregivers report stress, and about 50 percent report depression.”
Is there an alternative to the unjust sentence this disease imposes on our seniors and their families? Is there a way to control or even avoid its collateral costs and damage? Yes. Fortunately for all of us, there is.
As health care reform lumbers forward and costs spiral upward we are seeing increased coverage of alternative approaches to health and healing. The number one alternative, according to NIH, the National Institutes of Health, is prayer. Surprised?
Well, prayer, as it turns out, actually works, even for incurable, degenerative diseases that baffle medical experts. Below is an outstanding and inspiring example of how prayer was used to completely overcome Alzheimer’s. In this case, after a medical diagnosis, every conceivable remedy was applied: Chinese herbalism, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine, and yoga, all in addition to the most up to date pharmaceutical remedies. After all else failed, this woman found prayer to be the only effective and permanent alternative. Hers is a must read story.
Her prayer-based triumph over Alzheimer’s is just one example of thousands, offering proof that medical diagnoses are not always final and that there is a practical spiritual alternative to forfeiting the joys of senior-hood.
Today’s guest post is by a friend and colleague, Bob Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida. His post is a beautiful discussion of where we need to be after dealing with a crisis. Just coping may actually be more harmful than the healing that is necessary and possible. I know you will find Bob’s post interesting and helpful. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
There’s coping with a crisis….and then there’s healing it. And there’s a world of difference between the two. Healing is about transformation and renewal. Coping is about making do, staying put…just dealing with it.
Here’s an example. A good friend’s daughter made an award winning documentary about 9/11 called, “New York Says Thank You”. I hope you’ll take the time to watch it, because it documents the process of a huge collective healing. It shows how we can go beyond just dealing with it to healing it. It shows real lives being transformed, lifted out of crisis mode and healed.
As I was watching “New York Says Thank You” it made me think of other examples of the difference between coping and healing. For instance, our national health care system, at the center of such rancorous political debate right now, needs to move beyond the ruinously expensive business of managing or coping with disease to healing it. How can this happen?
Ten years ago at this time, in the wake of the 9/11 disaster, churches were overflowing. Attendance at churches, synagogues and mosques was peaking. Hollywood and pro sports were on hold. We all “got religion” so to speak. And healing began immediately. Nobody wanted to linger in the ashes of shock and grief. We immediately rallied as a nation. Our love for each other poured out and into Lower Manhattan. The healing process began immediately…and has continued for over a decade now.
Can we move our health care crisis beyond coping to healing? And can our collective response to 9/11 serve as a model? I think so. A collective, focused, prayerful response has immense power, as we saw in the weeks and years following 9/11. There are ways to move forward and innovations that can take shape as the result of prayer.
An October 14, 2008 editorial in the The Christian Science Monitor told us that “Paradigm-shattering innovation is clearly needed in healthcare reform.” The article, “Keep Choice in Health Care”, offers some valuable insights about moving together, as a nation, beyond coping with our health crisis to healing it.
We know how to move beyond the static state of coping to the dynamic power of healing. We’ve done it before. We can do it again.
by Robert B. Clark, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Florida
Roger Whiteway, my colleague from Virginia has a good point about how we should view health care reform and the burgeoning population of baby boomers. He makes good points to ponder. John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon.
By Roger Whiteway, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Virginia
What do Sly Stalone, George W. Bush, Danny Glover and I have in common?
This month we became eligible for Medicare coverage.
Yes, the first wave of the Baby Boomers have slipped into the government benefit pool, and the pool is beginning to look like a public swimming pool on a hot 4th of July day.
We look over our shoulder and see millions more of us boomers lined up to jump in as they reach their magic number.
What to do? (more…)
by John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
Health anxiety. Boy, that’s a big issue. It’s a condition I’ve seen in many people over the years. Parents worrying about each symptom experienced by their child. Adults obsessed with every the latest malady reported in the news.
Have you ever paid attention to the conversations around you at work? A day doesn’t go by without someone talking about his latest health issue, what his doctor says about it, her concerns about it spreading or getting worse, and so on. They talk about what pills they’re taking, how many, what color, how expensive.
The technology explosion, though presumed to be a benefit to mankind, may actually be a curse for the common citizen fearful about her health. On the internet you can find every conceivable disease or body malfunction known to man. You can find all the symptoms that go along with these conditions, and possible remedies. You can find out what medication you should be taking or what surgeries can solve the problem. This information only adds to the fear one may be harboring about their health. It’s conveniently called cyberchondria.
Wendy Glauser brings out an important point in her article “Health Anxiety” in the spring edition of Canadian Health. “At least 5% of the Canadian population is estimated to suffer from severe health anxiety, with a greater percentage of milder cases. Health anxiety can be triggered when …Internet websites match perceived symptoms to scary disorders or when physical symptoms persist that doctors can’t explain.”
And I’m certain that a much larger percentage of the population actually experiences sickness due to disease descriptions in the media and Internet. The idea is suggested to the mind and then the condition manifests itself in the body.
Dr. Herbert Benson, a renowned physician and researcher on the mind-body connection, has coined this phenomenon the “nocebo effect”. A more common term is psychosomatic disorder, i.e., symptoms of a disorder caused by one’s thought. His research for over 30 years has clinically proven that one’s thinking can have a healing or negative effect on one’s health.
Benson, Glauser, and those Glauser interviews for her article, report on a physiological basis for understanding and addressing these conditions. This approach will always have the limitation of the human body and brain. It relies on altering the neurological functions of the brain through thought, or through relaxation techniques, counseling, and in some cases, medications.
Interventions that heal the body through altering brain functions are limited by the body’s limitations. There’s no way around it.
As a practicing Christian Scientist I’ve found that healing goes beyond the brain and body, and comes through an understanding of spiritual nature. This understanding releases me from anxiety and any concern about my body. Rather than search the internet for a name or symptoms, I revel in the freedom that comes with focusing my thought on God as my creator, and the wholeness and harmony of His creation.
The press unwittingly sends forth many sorrows and diseases among the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases and by printing long descriptions which mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it. A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge! [pp. 196-7]
And she goes on to say:
The physical affirmation of disease should always be met with the mental negation…If you believe in inflamed and weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source… If you decide that climate or atmosphere is unhealthy, it will be so to you. Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take. [p. 392 ]
It’s liberating to know that we don’t have to be fearful about our health, and that peace of mind comes from a decision to recognize the natural healthiness of all that God made, including me and you. We can learn to meet health anxiety at the door of thought, before it gets its mental foot in the door, with a “no admittance”. God cares for His creation and keeps it well. That’s real freedom.