A few weeks ago, a friend informed me that her son wanted to be a scientist when he grew up, but wasn’t sure how to be a scientist because he is a Christian. This got me to thinking about the information that we take in every day. As a woman, I hear and see what I should look like, if I should or should not have children, what I should say, and what I should care about. I am judged as good or bad by a short period of contact or just from what someone “has heard about me.” Sometimes, I even hear why I should or should not believe what I believe. I have been told that my belief in God means that I am insecure and illogical, that I can’t be a scientist and a Christian.
Well, the truth is, I wake up every morning with the insecurities about what I look like, concerns that I might make a mistake that will cost a life, and worry that I won’t be a good example of who God has made me to be. The one thing that I don’t wake up to is a question about who I am. I am a child of God, He loves me, and no matter what happens in my life, He has accepted me. I cannot control God, and unlike some people’s thoughts, God does not control me. I make choices every day that I know God is not happy that I have made. I have lied. I have made the choice to tear someone down rather than build them up. I have judged rather than taken the time to build a relationship. I have held grudges rather than offered forgiveness. There are other things I have done that I am not happy about. Despite all of these failings, HE STILL LOVES ME! I do my best not to be judgmental when people are rude and careless with their attitudes towards people with faith of any form. I do not discriminate against someone for not believing what I believe. We have lived different lives and have had different experiences that have shaped who we have each become. Do I pray for people that do not believe in God? Yes, I pray for people that do believe in God as well. Some people are offended by this. My prayer is not intended to offend. Just as you may recommend a great restaurant, movie, book, doctor, or diet plan because you feel that it has provided you with some value in your life. So is my intent of sharing my faith and prayers. It has so much value to me that I want to share it. I want you to feel the joy that I feel. The love that surrounds me even when I am in the depths of depression. I am still human, I still have failings, but I am blessed with salvation, grace, and love, all because I took the chance to say “Thank you, God. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to live, die, and rise again.”
So this brings me back to being a scientist and a Christian. Yes, I do believe you can be both, but it can also be hard. I am not a literalist when I read the Bible. I believe evolution exists. All you have do is look around you and see how nature has changed to see evolution in process. I also believe that God made humans in His image, not that we developed from a giant mass of goo. I can’t say that I believe in the “Big Bang Theory” (although I love the television show) unless of course the “big bang” was God saying “Let there be…” I believe in cause and effect, in illness and healing, and in the scientific method. I also believe in gravity although I don’t understand all of the intricacies of it. I know with certainty that if I climb a tree, I will fall down, not gracefully, but with all of the power of gravity. Perhaps you could follow the saying “seeing is believing” so since I can see the results of gravity, I believe it exists. Well, I cannot see God, but I can see the results of His power. I cannot see wind, but I can feel it and see it as it causing branches to sway. I cannot see God’s face, but I can feel His love and the changes it makes in people, including myself. There are many things that happen in medicine that cannot be explained – why a treatment works on one person or animal and not on another or why the exact same event effects people in different ways. This is where my faith comes in. Miracles can and do happen. Hopefully, in time, I will share some of these with you. Do miracles always happen, I believe that yes they do, we don’t always like the results though. Sometimes, I do think that death is a miracle. Others may want the miracle of complete healing here on earth, but I think the greatest miracle of all is the complete healing of our spirit and souls that allows reunification with God.
I do not believe that it is easy to be a scientist. I do not believe that it is easy to be a Christian. I do not believe that it is easy to be both or neither. Life is full of complications and struggles, as well as times of great joy and relaxation. We each have a choice to make. I make mine for Christ. I pray not that I am a good Christian (whatever that may mean), but rather that I am an outlet for God’s love into this world. Whether I provide a smile or shoulder to lean on, a vaccination for their puppy, a compassionate ear to listen, or a voice of wisdom (I hope), I pray that God uses me to be His hands and feet to minister to those in my life.