This 72-year-old woman has been stricken with life-threatening cancer five times — including bone cancer, breast cancer, and a brain tumor — yet she retains her firm Christian faith and even credits Jesus for the fact that she’s still alive.
Helen Burgess has been a strong Christian in Sumter, North Carolina, for her entire life, according to WLTX News.
Burgess sings, “Jesus is my doctor/and He writes all of my prescriptions,” as she tells us about her experiences.
“It wasn’t easy. I had good days and I had bad days,” explains Burgess.
Her faith is strong but her body is beginning to weaken. Hospice has been called in to assist Burgess who says, “God tells me I should live and not die.”
Believe it or not, I applaud her faith. These are the exact instances in which religion can be helpful. If believing helps this dying woman cope with her final days, and she doesn’t hurt anyone as a result (she clearly doesn’t), then who am I to judge what she believes?
I’m not saying Burgess couldn’t do even better if she utilized more traditional (secular) therapies, but this seems to work for her, and I accept that.
All that being said, I feel like I should address the philosophical implications of Burgess’ words.
She says Jesus is her doctor, and that He writes her prescriptions, but she didn’t battle these cancers with only her faith. She used modern medicine, and I think her doctors deserve some of the credit here. Again, I applaud Burgess’ faith, but I’d like to personally thank her doctors for keeping this lovely woman alive for so long.
Burgess also says that God doesn’t want her to die, and she is welcome to that belief, but can we outsiders really ignore the fact that cancer is a natural phenomenon that an all-powerful Creator-God (if one existed) would have actually created? She also seems to be more prone to cancer to most people, which could be evidence against her God-is-on-my-side mentality.
When news stories like this go around, it’s possible that others could get the wrong idea. I don’t want to see someone else die because they said Jesus was their doctor and they didn’t need modern medicine. That’s where this type of mentality can lead if we don’t discuss it and think about the implications critically.
To Burgess: I hope you stick around even longer and that your faith serves you well in your final years.
To everyone else: Remember that science and medicine are of utmost importance when it comes to your health. Spiritual boosts may be psychologically helpful, but they’re not a substitute for medicine that’s gone through rigorous testing.