guest blog: worship, justice and healthcare

Mollie Brown has just finished her second year as a Junior Doctor in Leeds. We caught up with her this summer to find out about how she puts worship into action in her workplace; how she keeps going when facing life and death situations; the injustices she sees around her; and what other Christians can pray about for the NHS

Mollie Brown

“To be honest I didn’t ever really want to be a doctor… and it certainly wasn’t about wanting to help people. But since I became a Christian, that has all changed.

“From the age of 16, I was encouraged by my parents and teachers to become a doctor or a lawyer. I thought being a doctor sounded more appealing because you’re around people, and I was really fascinated by biology. It makes me laugh now – but at the time it seemed a bit glamorous!

“Studying and training has been hard. But when I became a Christian at about 18, I really felt God wanted me to see it through. I started to understand that it would be a privilege to serve people. And now, actually doing the job – it has been such a joy to be there for people at some of the most difficult times in their lives.

“But it’s also been really hard – sometimes the only reason I can go on to the ward is because I know Jesus is with me, and he’s going to help me do the best I can. He really is my strength. It’s physically exhausting and there are such high stress levels.

“Even when I see something really traumatic, I have to keep going. But then I’ll go into the kitchen with my phone, and put on a worship song – I’ll sometimes weep and then I’ll just ask God to give me the strength to get through the rest of the shift. It always helps.

“Whatever I have seen that day, I can trust him with it. He gives me peace and helps me sleep when I go home.

“God has given me compassion for my patients and I don’t think I could actively distance myself from them, even though maybe I should from a professional perspective. God tells us to love people and to give everything, and I think if we honour him in doing that he protects our hearts.

“I see more of him through the people I care for. Every patient and staff member I see is loved by Jesus and he can address every single need. He inspires me to go the extra mile for people, and to do a really good job.

“I do really struggle with not being able to talk about my faith, which helps me so much, with patients. It was especially hard when I was working in GP – where it seemed as if 90% of people came in with no real physical problem.

“It’s really hard in hospital too – whether they come in with a lump, or their relative is dying, they often have such fear of death in their eyes. And most of the time, your hands are tied. All you can do, sometimes even all the chaplains can do, is make polite conversation, rather than pray with them.

“I really believe we need to see more of the Holy Spirit working in our hospitals – the difference prayer could make is mind-blowing, especially because so many people are desperate for comfort and answers.

“My husband Steve and I are about to go to Mozambique to serve with Heidi Baker’s mission organisation Iris Ministries for at least a year. But I still see medicine in my future because there are so may broken people out there – mentally and physically – and to be able to help them in any way that I can is a privilege. You get to be very intimate with them in the hardest time in their lives, to speak positivity, and to show them God’s love.

“You also get to see all types of people, and I’ve found it’s made me more passionate about justice and more compassionate towards the marginalised. In A&E you come across quite a lot of drug addicts, homeless people and prostitutes. There is a lot of stigma and it seems some health professionals have less patience with them because they see their suffering as self-inflicted. But when you chat to vulnerable people about their experiences, and realise what their lives have been like, you know you can’t judge. Instead, you want to be there for them in the midst of the hostility they are experiencing, and the fear they are feeling.

“And there are other groups of vulnerable people you see too – people struggling with mental health issues; those who are suffering as a result of domestic violence; and refugees. I’ve even seem some people who are going on holiday dropping their elderly relative off at the hospital with a suitcase.

“Please pray that God will breakthrough in our hospitals and our health service as a whole. And for doctors and other healthcare professionals to experience more of God’s presence with us; more of his wisdom in us to love and care for people as best as we can; and more freedom of speech about our faith.”

If Mollie’s blog has inspired you to pray for the NHS, why not use our Praying for the NHS visual prayer slides (available as PPT or PDF) or written prayer to respond.

Why not also:

  • sign up to the Christian Medical Fellowship’s email updates on public health issues and Christianity
  • set up a prayer group for any health professionals you know who would value support.

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