Friday, May 22, 2009

Trusting People You've Never Met

If you haven't read my previous post, this one might not make sense, so go ahead and do that first. I'll wait.

OK, done?

I had a few thoughts on my ER experience that I haven't gotten down yet. It all starts with a little OT reference (that's Old Testament, if you're wondering).

Abraham and Sarah couldn't have kids, but God promised Abraham crazy seed. Finally, when Sarah was way too old to have a kid, she did. This seemed to be a one time shot. Along came Isaac. He was probably spoiled.

Then one day, God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on an alter. Abraham (who was a transitional character, having run away from his native culture of human sacrifice in revolt and converting to what would later become Judism) OBEYS! Can you believe it? How could he? Wouldn't this be just about the only thing that even the most faithful prophet would refuse to do?

To set the record straight, God stops Abraham just before plunging the knife, and the story just illustrates Abraham's complete faith, trust, and obedience.

I once heard it explained that Abraham understood God's power to raise the dead, and may have cited this particular faith, trusting that God would keep his word that Abraham would have seed like the sands of the earth, and therefore reinstate Isaac. That seemed pretty plausible to me.

Fast forward some thousands of years to me in the ER. Some doctor I've never met wants to give me a drug to stop my heart. He tells me, "No worries, I can get it going again."

Somehow, I say, "OK, Doc. If you think that's best!"

In Sunday school lessons, Abraham's faith seems to be a marvelous mystery. But does an act like that require only as much faith as I had in this stranger?


Added 5/31/09

I have now talked to Nick about the above thoughts, and solved my dilemma.  The situations are not so similar.  The big difference we found is that I trusted the drug given to me by the doctor to have been delivered successfully many times in the past.  For Abraham, his case was a first, as far as he knew.  I trusted that I would fare like the majority, he had faith that God would make him an outlier.


Lorraine and Kelly said...

It is weird isn't it, that just because they have the letters "D and R" in front of their name we will pretty much let them do whatever they want? We really have no idea what's going on and it does require faith! I am glad you are ok!

Our Ohana said...

great point, another reason I'm so proud of you for being so super brave that day! I didn't even think of how that would feel - I'm sure you must have considered the possibility that it would somehow go wrong... at least I would have. Maybe blind trust is a good thing at a time like this?

Elise said...

Your blind trust in a stranger to restart your heart is pretty amazing.

I do think it is different, however, from Abraham in that Abraham, unlike you, wasn't confronted with a problem that needed to be solved. You knew that your heart had to be fixed. Your heart and body couldn't continue at that rate. You knew it, and your faith came in by trusting the doctor to fix it.

Abraham had no problems. In fact, for him, the problem was the command.

I think our biggest leaps of faith come when there is no reason. When our lives are happy and content, and God says, "Do this." And we get no answer to "Why?"

Elise said...

Hey Lorraine, Brad (your bro) here, hey I was just thinking that it's not the "D and R" that qualify a person. It's the 12 years of in-depth and hands-on education that precedes the labeling of "Dr." that give us reason to trust them.