Friday, November 30, 2007

Taking drastic measures

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.

8 comments:

Niki RuralWritings said...

very interesting...I'll keep an eye out for his book.

Anonymous said...

I had not heard of this book and will look forward to hearing more from you about it. Love you, Mom

Katie said...

I am very interested in reading what he has to say on this issue. I know there are different views out there (especially among Christians) on what the issues are with the environment and more importantly what we should do about them. I look forward to reading his opinion and hearing his perspective!

Thank you for providing this important information - I love a challenge and this one sounds like it will definitely make me think more about my current lifestyle and how it affects my surroundings...

Blessings Carrie!
~Katie

Frances said...

Thanks for sharing, Carrie! Our public library doesn't have the book...yet. I put in a "Suggestion for Purchase" for it.

Great timing, too - we're studying Care of Creation in my Social Justice class this week. I might be able to use Dr. Sleeth's story in my assignments. :)

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

What a great illustration! I know my family needs to improve in this area. Thanks for the encouragement!

Patty said...

what a wonderful blog you have

A, B & C said...

Sounds really interesting... I think about that often myself. We've lived out of a suitcase the last two and a half months, but could I live this minimally forever? I might explore this on my blog... can I link the post to your's as my inspiration?
Oh, and I posted on "Stuck in a Beauty Rut" and will add my link to the Shoebox Swaps for my stuff tomorrow... I'm back!

Dustin F said...

Hi, my name is Dustin and I work with Christians in Conservation: A Rocha USA. I saw your post about Dr. Matthew Sleeth, and I thought that you might like to know that our organization sponsors him as a "creation care evangelist." We would love for you to check us out at our website, en.arocha.org/usa. You might also be interested the website for Dr. Sleeth's book "Serve God, Save the Planet," which can be found at www.servegodsavetheplanet.com