Arrogant Christian Prayer

God's AirplaneSpeaking of praying for the sick —  Here is a true story of mine from just 3 months ago.

My family was flying to Mexico for vacation.  Three hours into the flight an attendant yelled loudly, “Do we have a doctor on the plane?”  We all looked up — no response.  “Do we have any medical personnel on the plane?” she yelled again more frantically.  My wife nudged me, “Shhh,” I said, “Just wait and give the heroes a chance.”  But no one went forward.  So, I stood up and walked up to the front of the plane.

A 70 year-old woman was having a heart attack.  We had 45 minutes until we arrived in Mexico.  I started directing the attendants to get the plane’s defibrillator, to break open the medical kit and to help me administer her treatment.  Long story short, we got her stabilized and I sat next to her stroking her head to relax her until we landed.  Her niece, after she finally stopped crying, thanked me over and over.  The flight attendants were very grateful.  Me, I wish I could have relaxed in the back of the plane with my kids — it felt like I was back at work, but I was glad to help.

The woman was looking much better, and the Mexican ambulance was starting to bring the stretcher aboard the plane when the man behind me tapped the woman on her arm and said loudly, in his best witnessing voice, “We were praying for you.  I am sure the doctor helped, but God was the real healer here.”  I was shocked at the gall of this person, but before I knew it, the people in front of us said to the woman, “We were praying for you too.”  My patient had a religious book in her arms and shook her head agreeing. As the ambulance carried her out, she hugged me and thanked me.  She was a sweet woman.

Geeeeez, maybe God did help her.  Wait, there is no god.  But if there were, I would hope he just shakes his head those sorts of  Christian credit grabbers !

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Filed under Events, Personal

6 responses to “Arrogant Christian Prayer

  1. On one hand, there is an element of shared humanity there, caring for someone even though you don’t share their religion. On the other hand, it is ashame, “…but God was the real healer here,” as you say, “credit grabbers,” one wishes they could just appreciate the event for what it was, or what anyone could agree actually did happen.

    Anyway, way to go hero! You obviously played your part well.

  2. It was pleasant helping. I was definitely no “hero”, just doing a job i do all week long, lots of folks helped, and we were fortunate — she could have decided to die in spite of our efforts too. Heroes, I think, help others at the risk of their well being — at least that is how I’d define it. Actually, due to your response , I got an idea for a post on “heroes” — thanx. Really, what I did was absolutely nothing.

    Interestingly, on our return trip the pilot and attendants recognized me and we got VIP treatment — my kids were impressed. Sometimes I think people in medicine are given way too much credit because we are dealing with peoples’ lives but we work the same way anyone would work — you do what you do and are dependent on the assistance and guidance of many other folks. That Doctor-Priest notion will never die —
    I’ve seen it in every country I have lived.

  3. My dad did something like that except it was in the airport, not the the plane. His response was just the same as yours, just doing his job. There were others that showed up that could have done the same thing in his case, he was just the first on the scene. Appreciate your humble response, as you know I’m sure, many doctors let that stuff go to their heads or enter the profession for that reason in the first place.

    Doctor/priest thing makes sense, but it is a bit more real than that I think. We appreciate people who take care of us, and care for our bodies is more important to us than care for our home appliances, etc. And honestly, there are bigger risks and rewards of caring for a person. When I did computer repair, nobody was going to die from a mistake I would make. Nature of your business. I feel it is an especially honorable profession, but I am biased I know.

  4. I think its important to get a picture of who people are and why they have the faith that they do. In my experience, there are 2 kinds. One group is very fearful and need reassurance that everything in life is taken care of. The other group covets power. I believe in your example the people are of the first group and are in no way trying to be arrogant with their faith. They are just a fearful bunch and probably dont feel enough security to give credit to the mere mortals that help them on most days.😉

  5. Rob

    On a related note, I am always flummoxed when I see someone on the news who, for example, had their house and all of their possessions destroyed by a tornado. And what do they say? “God was watching out for me.” Just damn.

    If they are going to give credit to their god for not dying then they have to chastise that same mischievious deity for dropping the tornado on them in the first place, right?

    There was a great scene in the Southpark episode called Gray Dawn where the priest is trying to make some sense out of the senseless deaths:

    “It is sometimes hard, in times like these, to understand God’s way. Why would he allow nine innocent people to be run down in the prime of their lives by a senior citizen who, perhaps, shouldn’t be driving? It is then that we must understand, God’s sense of humor is very different from our own. He does not laugh at the simple ‘man walks into a bar’ joke. No, God needs complex irony and subtle farcical twists that seem macabre to you and me. All that we can hope for is that God got his good laugh and a tragedy such as this will never happen again.”

  6. I am a Christian. I hate so-called Christians like the “credit grabbers” on the plane. I hate pharisaism full stop. But anyway, what’s the connection between these lousy modern-day Pharisees and God? The fact that a whole bunch of phonies are continually kidnapping Christianity does not prove anything re. Christ himself. I am not going to go into any polemics with you and I respect your faith journey but please avoid drawing big conclusions concerning the existence (or non-existence) of God from inconclusive situations like the one you just described.

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