One of the best things about living in this community is the opportunity to hear amazing speakers. Recently, my husband I traveled to a nearby college for a lecture by Dr. Matthew Sleeth.
Dr. Sleeth's story is a compelling one. Trained as an emergency room doctor, he practiced medicine for many years before pursuing a new calling to write and lecture about creation care and the environment. His family, including his wife and two teenage kids, made a radical decision to downscale dramatically. They gave away half of their possessions and moved into a home the size of their former garage; granted, their previous garage was more than spacious. In addition, they drastically reduced their consumption of fossil fuels and their home use of electricity. Matthew told us their most recent utility bill was just $21!
I had listened to a lecture by Matthew when he spoke at this church, and I was excited to hear what he had to say in person. I confess that when he started in with a story from his days as an ER doctor, I was kind of antsy, waiting for him to discuss the topic I'd come for. He was telling us about a guy who'd come in one night with major heart and lung trauma. Under other circumstances, Matthew said he would have ordered a chest x-ray or another examination. But as he continued checking the patient, he realized the situation was so critical, that he had to take immediate action. He literally stabbed the man's chest with a scalpel in order to break the mounting pressure that would have proven fatal. When, at the end of the story, Matthew made the connection to the environment, it stopped me in my tracks. He said that we have to be willing to take more drastic measures. An x-ray won't cut it when emergency surgery is needed. A very profound point.
I have more I'd like to share from his lecture, but wanted to introduce him first. I'm also hoping to get my hands on a copy of his book soon and will review that when I can. For a more in-depth interview with Matthew, click here.