The medical profession is the closest thing we have in America to an aristocracy. It is almost rude to refer to a medical doctor by anything but the title, doctor. They are the overseers of our most precious possession — our health — and since every person must utilize these experts more times than they would wish in their lifetime, almost all doctors are very, very busy.
So, it is somewhat unusual to get a chance to look behind the scenes and see who they truly are on the inside. Dr. Joseph DeMay, a pediatrician in Loyalsock, has done just that, however. He has recently written a book, Musings of a Christian Physician on the Physical and Spiritual Healing of Man: A Treatise in Daily Devotional Form.
Dr. DeMay has a life that is fascinating and would have made a great biography someday, but he never sat down to write a book in the first place. Instead, in May of last year he found that he had been jotting down thoughts from his study of the Bible that he likened to the biblical prophet Jeremiah who said he had a “burning fire shut in my bones” that he could not hold in.
The catalyst was a life-changing experience that happened in December of 2017. After a routine delivery of a perfectly healthy baby boy, Dr. DeMay was leaving the hospital and suddenly had a thought. He told the nurse to get a bilirubin level (testing for jaundice), and also a complete blood count on the newborn. There was no reason to do so, but the tests turned out to be providential. Had the baby gone home, although apparently clinically fine, the infant would have certainly died within twenty-four hours as his kidneys would have been overwhelmed. The baby was found to have the most fulminant and deadly form of congenital acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a mortality rate from 83 to 100 percent. As it was caught immediately, the child quickly received treatment and although it was touch and go for a time, the little guy did eventually fully recover.
Dr. DeMay recognized the “still, small voice” within him that saved the baby’s life was the leading of the Holy Spirit. He has practiced his faith along with practicing his profession as long as he has been a doctor. So it was, when he found his reflections on the Scriptures were becoming more focused, he explored the idea of putting them together into a book. Through some inquiries, he found a Christian publisher that was intrigued and encouraged him to submit his manuscript.
Any book that saturates every page with Scripture quotes as much as this one would appear to be coming from a theologian other than a physician who has practiced for the past three decades with some 5000 clients. But from DeMay’s point of view, it is exactly because of his Christian faith that enables him to be as effective in the medical field as he is. One of his favorite quotes is from the seventeenth-century French mathematician and theologian Blaise Pascal who stated, “Faith indeed tells us what the senses do not; but not the contrary of what they see. Faith is above them, not against them. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do not know what is our life, nor our death, nor God, nor ourselves.”
Dr. DeMay wrote his book for the average person, which he hopes will strengthen their faith that healing is in Christ’s atonement. At the same time he also hopes it will strengthen those in the medical field as well. A Christian doctor should make a better doctor.
Available in hard cover and paperback, Musings of a Christian Physician on the Physical and Spiritual Healing of Man: A Treatise in Daily Devotional Form has just been released on Amazon by Weston Press, a subsidiary of the Thomas Nelson Publishing Company. It is a long read, some 360 pages, but it provides food for the soul on every page.