For centuries the church and science have been at odds, and reconciling the two can be extremely difficult and for some impossible. I am currently dealing with a setback in my own life that is helping me to deal with the tension in my own mind and heart.
This past weekend I injured my right middle finger playing volleyball. The injury is relatively small, but for me its a big deal for two reasons. The first is that any finger injury can be problematic for a surgeon and the second is that I am getting old enough to suffer weekend warrior injurues.
I ruptured the extensor tendon in my right middle finger. In simpler terms, I am unable to fully straighten out my finger. The injury is also called a “mallet finger.”
Thankfully the injury is simple to treat. My torture, I mean treatment, for the next weeks is a brace that prevents me from bending the joint at the tip of that finger.
I stare at my finger constantly, waiting for it to heal. It works just like boiling water, staring only makes it take longer.
My care and treatment for the finger represent both a belief in both God and science. The splint keeps my finger straight, placing the tendon in the correct position while the healing process happens.
The idea almost sounds absurd. Just hold your finger straight for 2 months and the ruptured tendon heals. But it is a scientifically proven fact. As long as I keep it straight, the biology just happens in an incredibly predictable manner.
I am also trusting God, and not just in a “God made the science” way. I have prayed to him asking him to heal it. The science is predictable, but that same science predicts that there is a small chance that I could have problems with it such as stiffness or incomplete healing.
Even doctors do not completely understand what happens enough to guarantee results. So I pray and ask God to heal it.
Does the brace mean that I don;’t believe that God can heal it? no. Does my prayer suggest that I do not trust science? No. I just need both and I see them working together and not as conflicting cultural issues.
And for those of you who only see an obscene gesture in the photo, it is an incredibly humorous inconvenience, isn’t it?
How do you resolve faith and science? Leave a comment here.
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