Fear, Grief, Joy, Distraction, Anger, Disgust and Hope.
She says, we all have these emotions at some or other time in our lives, but as a doctor one very often has nearly all of these in a day or less. And she devotes a chapter on each of them with stories from the hospital – very moving, sometimes funny, but always honestly describing experiences that she has had to cope with in her work. Writing them down and finding the words to give raw expression to her experiences and reflect on them helped her to keep going, she writes. As I was reading this book, a thought kept coming up in the back of my mind. These stories describing the various, very human emotions and how they are experienced and expressed, are in a different way doing what the Psalms have been doing for those who pray them for centuries. Giving words to experiences, verbalising emotions, trauma, fears, grief, anger, disgust, joy, distraction and hope. In the Book of Psalms, we have a treasure trove of resources, a medicine bag full of “cures” for all that ails and delights us. An old Chasidic proverb puts it very well: “Verlasst euch nicht auf Wunder, sondern rezitiert Psalmen.” Don’t put your trust in miracles, but recite the Psalms. And it is meant literally, prayed Psalms are life-changers and life-savers.