Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2018
By Jonathan Filkins
Anne walked slowly into the doctor’s office, holding on to the arm of her 8-year-old grandson, Jack. She was aged beyond her 42-years. The grandmother had not been feeling at all well. In fact, she had not been feeling well most of her life. It always seemed, to her, as though life was constantly beating her down.
From Anne’s point of view, living was all about being in a lottery. It was as though she was only meant to “roll the dice” and receive whatever was the outcome.
Long given to odious melancholy, her frail efforts were often surrounded with an air of futility. It had cost her a marriage and productive relationships with many.
This approach, in both living and emotional malaise, were reflected in her children’s perceptions of proper choices and conduct.
The twin boys were often in trouble and well known to those in law enforcement. Each had not completed high school. The older, singular daughter became pregnant, early on, with Jack being the result. As the succeeding generation, if left to recent history, Jack’s prospects were as equally as grim as his predecessors.
Back in the examining room, Doctor Santiago’s face expressed a mounting visage of frustration. Anne was often seen in the waiting room, with a complaint about something, or other. Almost always, the examination showed only vague and unsubstantiated results. It was beginning to wear on the doctor.
“My dear, you were here just last month,” Doctor Santiago began, “and the month before that. What is going on?”
Seemingly coming from an emotional abyss, the reply was telling. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Nothing seems to be getting any better!”
“Anne, we have known each other for a long time. Do you trust me?”
With a halting, unsure reply, the patient responded, “Well, I guess I do.
Slowly, and carefully Doctor Santiago began his diagnosis. “From what I can see, there is nothing particularly wrong with you; at least physically. Somewhere along the line, you began feeling life always was a trial and a burden; something which has to be suffered through and endured. From what you have told me, it may seem to be so.”
The doctor continued, “So, I will tell you the diagnosis I have for you. I believe you have ‘Sedition Condition, Type A.’ It is that condition where we undermine our life’s efforts, by knowingly, or unknowingly, undermining our efforts. Much of the time, we believe we do not deserve happiness. Does this sound like you?”
With a nod, Anne accepted the diagnosis. Over time, and with the assistance of others, her outlook noticeably brightened; much to the pleasure of those around her. Jack was the most impacted beneficiary, for he saw a different life’s example than before.
His grandmother became more interested in her work and received a promotion. With spending time with her family, life did become better.
As part of Anne’s prescription for recovery from the “Sedition Condition,” she was to become involved with activities outside of herself.
Accepting the guidance, she decided to return to church; from which she had been so long absent. It was there, in the quiet moments of peace and surrounded by others, where she found renewed strength and support. She learned that God was not a punisher, but the Redeemer.
Stepping outside of herself, into the true light of life, was what the doctor’s true prescription was all about. Stepping out of herself, and in step with God’s love for her, was the foundational remedy. It is a prescription humankind can well, and should, receive.