Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

A doctor writes to God

Nolo Segundo
United States


Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, the priest who first theorized the Big Bang, with Albert Einstein at the California Institute of Technology, January 1933. Photo via Wikimedia. 

My friend, a retired surgeon,
tells me he would like to believe
in an almighty and loving God,
but claims science, annoyingly,
keeps getting in the way—so
I ask why, why is that?

After all, one is of this world,
the world of physics, of math,
the world of flesh and blood,
the world of nature, full of
contradictions, unpredictable,
noble, beautiful on occasion,
cruel and base at other times
(and I make clear to him, by
that I mean nature’s nature,
with its sunsets and rainbows,
hurricanes and earthquakes,
and human nature, with its
art and music and poetry and
war and genocide and slavery).

But God is not of this world—
in it, yes, through it, yes, yet
always unimaginably beyond,
a Being that is a Force that is
a Presence, that is the All…
so how could my friend, or
anyone who can think only
one thought at a time define
such a One? Or worse, talk
about God as though God
could be measured, weighed,
evaluated…captured by a
puny being whose existence
spans a handful of decades
and never really can know
its own mind completely?

Alas, my friend, the doctor,
just cannot see that science,
like art, music, poetry, and
that singular gift, sentience,
are just intimations of God….



NOLO SEGUNDO is the pen name of retired teacher L.J. Carber, 76, who has been published in over 160 literary journals and in three trade paperback collections: The Enormity of Existence, Of Ether and Earth, and Soul Songs. These titles reflect the awareness he’s had for 52 years since almost drowning in a Vermont river: that he has—is—a consciousness that predates birth and survives death, what poets since Plato have called the soul. 


Summer 2023  |  Sections  |  Poetry

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