Caring Christians Offer Me Help - No, Really.

I am going to the Veterans Administration Wednesday for surgery on my right hand to relieve Dupuytren's Contractures, the second time in four years.

This time there is a difference. Four years ago I lived in Oklahoma, where as an atheist my Christian neighbours mostly ignored me; those that didn't offered to pray for healing for my hands (rather than thank a skilled surgeon).

Now I live in a tiny village in the Nebraska Panhandle, and am a trustee on the village board (city council). The other members and the village clerk are all members of the Lutheran Church across the street from my house.

When the news hit the village (no one can hide anything here, plus my arms will be in casts throughout the summer anyway), each of the village board members, and the clerk, offered to help me as I recover—get groceries, rake my yard, hang laundry on the line, &c.

Not pray for me. Help me if I need help.

The same goes for the rest of the folks in town. No one has offered to pray for me, but many people have offered to help.

Though Pew Research lists Nebraska as the fourteenth-most religious state in the Union, and the folk in town are actually quite religious, they do not use their faith as an excuse to proselytise to me—religion is not a discussion between my wife, me, and the rest of the town. Religion was not an excuse to not elect me.

I have decided I like Nebraska (or at least this town) far better than Oklahoma.

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Comment by Randall Smith on April 30, 2013 at 7:28am

Both my uncle (had) and sister have Dupuytren's. The genetic disorder has severely limited their ability to play piano (both accomplished). No amounts of glucosamine has helped(!). Good luck in surgery and recovery. I'm betting your outgoing personality (from what I gather) has aided in your townsfolk's willingness to help you out with chores. They simply like you, despite your disbeliefs!

Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 29, 2013 at 10:58pm

That's a great story, James.  I'm sure as church people, your fellow town folks will also be praying for you behind your back, but what great news it is to hear that first and foremost they came and offered to help you by doing real work.  

I hope your surgery goes as planned without any complications and that your recovery is swift.  --Carl 



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