We hear that word often during the cold and flu season. What would you think of a medical facility named Geshundheit?
Well, in 1971 Dr. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams founded the Geshundheit Institute. During his medical training he found that patients often responded just as favorably to tender, loving concerned care by the doctor as they did to just being prescribed a dose of medication. While I do not know Dr. Adams relationship with God I do know the idea has a basis in scripture, “a merry heart does good like medicine.”
Dr. Adams believed that medical attention should be service oriented. There should be laughter, caring and shared time (friendship). There also exists the drug companies, lawyers and traditional institutional medical teachers. They have a lot of reasons to keep loving care out of medical attention–mainly centered around money. In all things there needs to be a balance. Dr. Adams began making a public impact and in 1998 a somewhat biographical movie was made, starring Robin Williams. Dr. Adams liked the attention to his theories but did not like the extent to which Robin Williams made all his work seem goofy.
As I read Dr. Adam’s book, there is a lot that makes sense. We have gone to the same doctor for 30 years. He is a personal friend. We know he cares about us. We trust him and feel better even after just talking with him. We have a loving personal friendship.
Just as Pastor Chad pointed out in his sermon “Without Love,” no matter if you are helping relieve people of their physical ailments, if it is without love it does not mean much of anything. But if done with love there is healing of not just the body but the whole being.
Contrast that with one of the cases my friend Perry Mason was involved in. Perry was advising a poor rancher who was entering into a mineral rights contract with a scheming businessman. The businessman had no friends, just people hanging around trying to get some of his money. He was using an obscure clause in the contract to delay payment to the rancher for an extended time. When Perry asked him how much money was enough, he said, he would not be satisfied until he had all the money.
You guessed it. The man was killed, the rancher was blamed and Perry had to prove which of the other suspects actually did him in. The man would invest in projects with people, give money to causes if he could gain prestige or other advantages, but generally everything he did was about him and for him. In the end, all he did and all he had was worthless.
Pastor Chad summed up his sermon by saying,
“WITHOUT LOVE, NOTHING MATTERS.”
Don’t give up on love. You can do all the right stuff but without love it does not matter.
Relationships–Are you truly loving? Are the things you are doing just things or are they based on love?
Friendships–Are you a friend who loves or are you just going through the motions?
Romances–Are you just going through the motions or are you really showing love?
Church–Are you making an effort to invest in others lives? Are you praying and/or caring for people?
Without love there is no lasting effect on your life or the world. Don’t just do stuff. Take a chance to show love, even to people who are hard to love.