the doc said it so it must be true… or something else about justice

I’ve been thinking about justice again because of Mr Faith in Ireland.  He like most people in my life would probably say I worry too much… this is true, but I’m still bugged by the asking of big picture questions of how to do justice (eg social reform etc – check out patricks post).  However, over dinner last night I was listening to Mr Husband talk about medicine.  He said something that made me realise our frustrations are very similar.  He was bleatherin’ on about how doctors are basically ruining people’s lives (can you tell i’m paraphrasing here;-) ) because they are trying to live up to expectations and desires of the general public (and themselves of course), to be people who can fix everything (just like good old Bob the builder).  In the shift of mindset within doctors that primarily they can and should attack all disease and sickness to beat the b*******d they forget that really what they are called to is to care for their patient.  To seek their well-being.  Well you might ask, isn’t this what beating the sickness is?… in most cases yes, but not all the time.  As husband man puts it ‘caring sometimes involves curing but curing does not always involve caring’.  THIS is the heart of what bugs me about talk on justice (i think!)  As soon as a doctor thinks his primary role is to cure rather than care then he will end up putting an 89 year old woman through painful tests and ordeals to try and find something that is causing her aches when really she would be better off being home with her family because really she is just getting old.  Not always does curing mean caring/well-being.  One must think of a person more holistically than that.

For fear that I am starting to talk about medicine rather than justice, I am trying to make the point that when a Christian thinks of his role as to cure injustice rather than to love people who are suffering injustice we often miss the very people we are called to love.  Sometimes my care for the suffering people involves my fighting for social reform etc, but not always does my pursuit of social reform involve my real love of the suffering people (which is what God calls me to).  Infact I could be someone who fights for social reform and yet also be a person who has never looked a suffering person in the eye, or touched their hands.

We are called to care about the widow, the orphan, the oppressed.  We are called to care about these people as people.  We are called to love PEOPLE primarily, not to be ‘bob the builders’.

Confused babbling’s and rant over…

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8 Comments on “the doc said it so it must be true… or something else about justice”

  1. This may be stupid and pedantic but I think we’re called to love God and that leads to loving others.

    Of course, now that I think about it, you are right. You wrote, “We are called to love PEOPLE primarily”. Without sounding like Ralph Wiggum, Jesus is a person and he is the person we must love should we want to love others (and indeed should we aspire to social justice).

    Whatya reckon?

  2. […] on from transfarmer’s post I found this today reading. While not exactly on the topic it did remind me of her “Bob […]

  3. meinmysmallcorner Says:

    i miss you.

  4. espero Says:


  5. thriveteamleader Says:

    and part of loving PEOPLE will at times involve us being advocates for them, and working towards a better society that cares for the weak.

  6. […] ‘the least of these’ in a way that costs (which reminds me a bit of transfarmers latest post, and she is always worth […]

  7. PatrickM Says:

    Picking up on what thriveteamleader said – Keller tells stories of how loving someone will also sometimes have to involve seeking to change oppressive or unjust structures or exploitation by others. Not to do so would be unloving. A girl forced into prostitution is one example he gives.

  8. transfarmer Says:

    Thanks for the comments, I fully agree that at times loving people will obviously involve seeking to change oppressive structures etc,. What i have issue with is when we see our goal as changing structures rather than loving God and people. I know it’s subtle but i think its real.

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