This week’s episode of House MD pitted Dr. House against God or, to be more precise, the idea that God speaks and interacts with people. It is a topic very near and dear to my heart, and kept me on pins and needles, waiting to see how they would make the Christian look. As expected, the Christian is discounted as a liar and a fake. The Christian is Boyd, a fifteen year old boy who hears from God and heals people by laying his hands on them.
During the middle of a church service (did anyone else notice how ugly and backwoods most of the church members looked?), Boyd’s hands clench, he doubles over, and falls down. His father rushes him to the hospital. House’s staff diagnose the boy with Tubular Sclerosis. Several small tumors in his brain are credited with causing the symptoms mistaken for spirituality. Chase is the only one on House’s staff who thinks there is even the slightest possibility that the boy isn’t lying or delusional. But it is House himself who throws a childish tantrum when the boy’s revelations from God continually hit the mark.
The final straw is when Boyd lays his hands on a female cancer patient in the hospital, tells her that God has heard every prayer, and claims that she is healed. House goes on the warpath to prove that the woman isn’t healed in order to discredit the teenage faith healer. Funny what can set him off into such an angry mood, isn’t it? Though the plots for this show are decidedly secular, the writers leave room in this episode for at least the unlikely possibility that God speaks to people. Of course, this is as far as they are willing to go. So we are left with a non-committal declaration by Dr. Wilson, who tells House that a belief isn’t disproved simply because a person cannot live up to it. I am left wondering if this is a positive statement or not.
The boy has a virus that attacks cancer cells, which he manages to spread to the girl he had laid hands on in the hospital. She had experienced at least brief remission due to the virus she had caught from the believer. Note the comment made about the chances of the boy having just the right virus to attack just the right type of cancer cells. The odds were ridiculously small. House finds it difficult to believe that God would use one disease or illness to deal with another. The boy responds by saying that God does not violate the laws of His universe – that it is not so strange that He would use various existing biological elements to carry out what otherwise would be impossible. It is an interesting thought.
I read something similar in The Elijah Task by John and Paula Sandford. In discussing the miraculous/supernatural, the Sandfords state their personal belief that God does not violate the natural laws He created. To violate something good and pure could be equated to fraud or violating the innocence of a child – unthinkable. God loves everything He created. Regardless of the fine details which we struggle in vain to understand, I can see how the supernatural is only supernatural in that God acted in a natural way which we cannot presently understand. We did not write the laws of nature. We do not fully understand them all, either. Imagine: not too long ago, we thought that the molecule was the smallest measurable unit. Then came the atom, with protons, electrons, and neutrons. Then came quarks. Scientists may have found something even smaller by now.
One thing we have learned is that everything, including solids, liquids, and gases, is made up of energy. If even the most solid looking surface known to man is truly made up of energy, moving mountains isn’t such a stretch of the imagination. We see the manifestation of a LOT of energy particles, but to move any amount of already moving parts from one place to another is not really so unthinkable if one only knows how. Food for thought…