Thursday, July 10, 2008

Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt.2

In order to be considered as scoliosis, the spine must have a curve on the xray at least greater than 10°. That's according to the Orthopaedic Surgery department at Massachusetts General Hospital. Our doctors have told us that once the curve is around 24 degrees or greater they start looking at what needs to be done about it. However, in the case of children growing very quickly, they will sometimes be proactive and introduce the brace earlier than that. Savannah's s-curve is 26° and her c-curve is 24° as you can see in her xray on the left. At the rate of her growth and with that degree of curvature, they were concerned enough that we should introduce the brace.

But for others, if the curve is less than 20° and the individual is done growing, the scoliosis can be left untreated. ...So being a little crooked is okay. That brings me to the second way that we as a family have observed that the Gospel applies to scoliosis: How crooked are we as humans and how crooked can we be and still be considered "ok"?

How Crooked Are We?

Psalm 14:1-3 tells us clearly how crooked we are as humans:
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.

We're not just people who do bad things occasionally--we're thoroughly sinful people. In and of ourselves we will not do anything good that pleases God. Even the charitable actions we see of people in the midst of crises are acts enabled by the common grace that God gives to both the believer and unbeliever. In fact, we are so crooked, we are outright rebels. As C.S. Lewis put it, "Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms."[1]

How Crooked Can We Be?

But even knowing that we are crooked people, we tend to think, "Well, I'm not as crooked as so-and-so. I mean look at him: he sleeps around on his wife." But that misses the point of how depraved we truly are. When the Bible says that the heart is desperately wicked and without cure (Jeremiah 17:9), it means that we are just as incurably sinful as the sinner next door. In fact, if left to yourself, you will destroy others around you and yourself. Dr. Bob Jones Sr. has said, “Any sin that any sinner ever committed, every sinner under proper provocation could commit.”[2]

How Crooked Can God Allow?

But we say, "Well, the doctor says being a little crooked is 'ok'." And we tell ourselves that: "God will accept me since I'm only a little crooked." But we've already said that we're not just "a little crooked"--we're thoroughly sinful people. And in fact, James says that if we have broken God's law in one point, we have become accountable for all of it (James 2:10). God cannot simply overlook any sin at all out of a so-called "love". He is holy and just and if He would overlook any sin, He would be unloving to His Son on whom He poured out all His wrath for all my sins. It would be entirely unjust for God to simply overlook any of our crookedness. Our crookedness deserves eternal punishment.

And this is how scoliosis reminds us of the Gospel: When I look at how crooked I truly am and realize that Jesus Christ paid the perfect sacrifice for my crookedness, I am overwhelmed at the amazing love shown to me. This is truly Good News--the Gospel.

Read about Savannah's Scoliosis
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 1
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 3
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 4
Scoliosis and the Gospel Pt. 5

[1]C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1952), 59.
[2]Dr. Bob Jones Sr., Dr. Bob Jones Says (radio talks)—Psalms tape series number 9 (ca. 1949)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're nuts!