A longtime nurse and minister explores the spiritual dimensions of physical illness.
Debut author Frost reports that he’s been sensitive to the correlation between physical disorders and Christian lessons since his earliest days in nursing school. That’s when he first began to see parallels between Scripture and medical care (pathology, diagnosis, and treatment). “I believe God has intertwined the physical and spiritual body,” he writes, “in such a way to reveal a mystery here that unlocks powerful insight into the workings of both.” Frost’s earnest book delves into the spiritual facets of a whole range of health problems, from heart disease and cancer to less likely candidates like STDs, obesity, and even constipation. In all these cases, the author looks for what he calls “intercessory prayer warriors”: “They are spiritual paramedics,” he writes, “EMTs, and health care workers who must always be ready to rescue those in spiritual danger.” In his diverse examples, Frost draws lessons from physical ailments, all of them derived from Christian Scripture, as in his chapter on immunity disorders. After a careful and detailed explanation of blood cell types and the like, he shifts to discussing spiritual aspects. “We need the blood in every ministry in order for each to live,” he writes. “Circulate the blood of Christ in your preaching, and the lost will be saved.” Readers should notice immediately what Frost himself freely admits: that some of these parallels are long, long stretches, untenable except perhaps for the fundamentalist Christians who are undoubtedly the author’s target audience. Frost’s imagination, rhetorical inventiveness, and sincerity notwithstanding, there’s something noticeably absurd in trying to find a spiritual element to chlamydia or cholesterol. For every such malady, the author insists, “God has a message He wants to convey to us or those around us.” But readers who’ve come face to face with the essential pointlessness of suffering may be harder to convince.
An intriguing and heartfelt but overreaching attempt to find Christian consolation in even the worst complications life can throw at people.