Healing—It’s in Our DNA
Healing—It’s in Our DNA
Editorial by Dave Weigley, graphic from istock photos
As my wife, Becky, transported me home from the hospital, I called the administrators I knew were responsible for providing leadership to the institution where I had just been a patient for the day. I had thanked the clinicians, nurses, doctors and others while in their care, but now I wanted to let management know how blessed I was to have been a patient at their facility. Becky credited my actions to the sometimes-euphoric affects of pain medication, but I protested. I knew it was more than that. I was truly grateful for the faith-based care I received from the hands of talented and well-trained medical professionals, and I needed to tell them.
The Gift of Wholeness
I believe our church pioneers, more than 100 years ago, under inspiration from God, envisioned operating hospitals like the one that treated me—those with the hope of offering faith-based care to each patient. I realize that such care is actually part of the DNA of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, for at the heart of our mission is disinterested benevolence to bring God’s healing and restoration to all.
The Columbia Union’s two healthcare systems—Adventist HealthCare in Gaithersburg, Md., and Kettering Adventist HealthCare in Kettering, Ohio—have two very different mission statements that explain how they go about fulfilling that mission. But, as unique as they are, they share a common denominator, one that sets them apart from other healthcare systems. They don’t just aspire to heal the body by performing a successful operation or procedure and then send people home; they attempt to make men and women whole—mind, body and spirit. Every one of their entities and every caregiver and top manager attempts to express that goal every day, and that’s what I experienced firsthand during my own hospital stay.
When our healthcare professionals—no matter their religious or cultural background—enact the church’s mission, it creates a two-fold benefit. First, the patient is supported through various stages of restoration, or given hope of the final restoration. Second, the caregiver is immensely blessed as they experience passing along God’s gift of wholeness and healing. It is similar to the idea in Proverbs 11:25: “A generous person will prosper, and anyone who gives water will receive a flood in return” (ISV).
Many leaders in our country have had healthcare and its delivery as major agenda items, and they should. According to a recent poll, people rank their own personal health or the health of loved ones as their top concern. If ever there was a time for the Adventist Church to share its faith-based understanding of Jesus and how following Him can be the way to health and wholeness, it is surely now! Whether that expression is at one of our acute care facilities or at a local church through health seminars and retreats, people need to know that God cares for them—and by enacting His mission, so do we.
Dave Weigley (email@example.com) is the president of the Columbia Union Conference.
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