Maybe health shouldn’t be quite so black and white…
“I’m on the other side..”
I was set up at an event last fall, with all of our Shawnee Moon herbal products and some Young Living essential oil goodness. A woman walked by and I greeted her kindly and asked, “Are you familiar with essential oils?” (That is usually my intro question, as these days, most people have heard of oils, but not so much tinctures or ointments, etc. I like to start the conversation with something they are semi comfortable with.). She hesitated, then said, “Well, I’ve heard of them, but, I’m on the other side. I’m a nurse.”
Part of me did not know how to reply. I thought, ‘wait a minute.. are we at war?’. “On the other side”?? The other side of what?
The line in the sand
To me, health care shouldn’t have such a hard line drawn. It is not so black and white. It is not right and wrong. What works for you will not work for the next person, and won’t work for the next person, but may be a saving grace to that next-next person.
I am an herbalist. I am NOT anti-doctor. I am not digging a trench in the alternative health field to try to prove anything. I am not against prescription medicine. I understand that many of our greatest and most useful alopathic therapies and medicines are derived from plants. God provided plants that are nutritious and plenteous and can gently and easily alleviate ailments without drastic measures requiring medical intervention. But I also understand that God gave wisdom and amazing abilities to doctors and nurses and hospitals and they all have their place.
We are all in this together
I 100% believe we need the modern medical field for many, many reasons. But I also believe, that many individuals are over medicated, and could benefit from a balance of nutritional, whole food, herbal supplementation. There is a balance. We cannot cling to one way of thinking and throw out everything of the other way. That is not healthy in the slightest.
Everything in moderation, including moderation.
We need to understand that we are all in a different phase of our health journey; and there is not one destination that we will all arrive to. We need to extend more and more grace to each other. Let’s get off our high horses.. off our soap-box/facebook rants, stop tearing each other down for our choices and family health decisions, and encourage one another right where we are.
Redefine your motives
Are you a FB arguer? Before you reply to that person who posted about vaccines.. before you share that article about medical marijuana.. before you engage in any controversial health conversation… define your motives. Don’t yell and name-call and demean others. If this is about promoting health, than watch your words! Words have power to build up or tear down. Speak words of life, not condemnation and therefore, death.
You will not do any benefit toward your ’cause’ (what ever that may be) by engaging in belittling, angry, impassioned ‘comment debates’. Again… we are NOT at war, okay? You will NOT change any minds. Just think, you’re there with your opinion and that is exactly why everyone else is there. If you are speaking in a way that cause people to be defensive, than you are not going to change someone’s mind.
Make it a matter of prayer
Maybe you are not a person who trusts in the power of prayer to the righteous God of the Bible. But I am. I strongly encourage everyone to make their health a matter of prayer.
Over and over in the Bible, we see examples of people who were sick and they were often given specific instructions on how to be healed. Some people were told to put certain ointments on their ailment, or wash with certain water, or simply believe and they were healed. The point I am getting at is, Jesus was specific to each individual. And in each circumstance, the illness was an opportunity for the person to;
- A. Trust Jesus for the healing (if there was to be healing at all, remember Paul asked God 3 times to remove the “thorn in his flesh”, and it was never removed),
- B. to be obedient to what ever God told them to do in regards to their physical and/or spiritual health,
- and C. to give testimony of the Power of Christ and the Holy Spirit in their life.
If you are struggling with any issue, spiritual or physical, make it a matter of prayer. You will find guidance in being in the Word (the Bible) and God will give you peace in your health choices. Whether that is going to the medical doctor, or eating herbs you grew in your back yard or both. You will be able to glorify God in what ever way He guides you to treat your physical ailments, and through that obedience, no matter the outcome, you will be able to give a beautiful testimony as He grows your faith and trust in Him.
Finally, we need to extend the grace that is given so freely to us, to our brothers and sisters around us. Not piling on guilt, shame or name-calling when someone is called to a different health journey than we are. There is no good that will come from that. Engage in healthy, stimulating conversations when friends ask specifically for real advice and opinions (not when people are fishing for arguments). Share happily and sincerely your experiences and that beautiful testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
We’re on the same side
I replied to that nurse mentioning how I was very thankful for doctors and nurses who no doubt saved my Dad’s life on a number of occasions, as well as understanding that other loved ones would not still be with us if not for modern medicine. She smiled and nodded as she continued walking away without saying anything more.
It does sadden me, that some (not all) doctors and nurses see herbs and oils as dangerous and that they are ‘on the other side’ from people like me, and see me as an instigator of false information and inflicting more harm than good. And maybe this particular nurse didn’t mean it to sound like it did; but I do feel like a number of people on either “side” would say the same thing. They have drawn that line, and it is ‘their way or the high way’.
With that thinking I think we will all miss out on a lot of benefit that comes out of both “sides”. Maybe we can agree to disagree on some things, and understand that there is a time and a place for many types of health care, and it should be on an individual, case-by-case, basis.
Don’t miss out on a blessing by shutting out information based on just one thing you hold dear. I know I am guilty of this, I know we all are. Let’s have more grace for each other.