My God Complex

My God Complex

Going on a medical mission really messes with one’s God complex.

It’s wonderful when you are able to watch a kid chew a tablet that will immediately begin curing them of their parasite. You get the warm fuzzies and you feel that you are making a difference.

But then there are cases that you see for which you can provide little if any hope…. mainly because the therapy it isn’t available in their country. And that’s the worst.

The Face of Medical Mission Nicaragua

This man came in complaining of hip pain.

A few questions in, I asked what he did for a living.
“I work in the fields, so plowing, chopping wood, things like that.”

He then handed me some x-rays he had of his back.

Back x-ray Medical Mission Nicaragua

The hardware had been put in about 15 years ago to straighten his back from scoliosis.

This is what his back looked like.

Medical Mission Scoliosis post-surgery

And that’s where you know you’re sunk.

We can give him some ibuprofen and tell him to slow down…
But, in this case, if he doesn’t work, he very literally doesn’t eat.

Lesley runs the organization in Nicaragua that brings in teams for clinics.
I overheard her in a conversation about one seemingly hopeless case…that regards a child.

“When you say ‘There’s just too many people to help!’ it’s easy to just go home and enjoy your privilege. But you just have to take it one at a time…”

It can be overwhelming sometimes thinking of all the Nicaraguans for whom we can do nothing physically at this point….or all of the children in foster care…or the masses hungry children around the world.

Yes, we are empowered by a great God.
Yes, we can do things to reach the masses.

But we are also very simply human.
And sometimes, there are limits to what we can do.

Help those in your path with as much gusto as you can muster.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus to all those you meet.
And pray that He sends harvesters into every field, because no one is capable of doing it all.

Comments ( 6 )

  • You, and your fellow doctors, inspire me… and I want y’all to know that, as it is important. What y’all do is of great value… to all mankind… because when one person selflessly helps another it makes us ALL more human. Thank you.


    • Thank you for the kind words. It is definitely encouragement from others that helps keep us going in some of these cases.

  • Vic

    I know the feeling. Even though I have no medical training at all, often I am confronted in Albania with people similar to this man. Prayer does work. It may not happen right away, and it may take a many people praying for the person, but in the end God does intervene one way or another.

    Bless you,

    • You are always so full of wise words- thanks for sending them our way!

  • Whitney

    This is very inspiring and very true. One can be overwhelmed by the masses of need, but we most know that no matter the size of the task or deed the Lord can still use us. You may not have been able to heal this man but what you offered was hope and maybe in a way that he never knew.

    • So very true. There is always hope to be offered- working in medicine (or even just being human) we can sometimes get stuck on the things to blatantly in front of our physical eyes. We can’t forget that there is a greater war…

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