Thanks Lee, I agree with you that “It is important to move the patient away from a destructive view of God” however, I believe this may not be “toward the God fully revealed in the face of Jesus.” I have cared for people of the Muslim, Jewish and Hindu religions and have helped the explore the loving caring sides of their God, which led them from their destructive view of God. This fits Oates’ discussion, “The God I represent to the patient is the patient’s God, and there are many. My first task is to discover who and of what nature is his God.” (p.48) I have also cared for atheists and my approach is the same. I assess where a person is with his/her “god” and how that is working for them and help them to a better place if needed.
I care for and provided support for people by relying on my relationship with my God and what he provides me to do that. I refer to the patient’s request that Oates shares, “Go easy on how you tell us that God cares. Show us that you care and we’ll decide for ourselves whether God cares on the basis of what you do.” (p.50) My God is the God who revealed himself to me in Jesus. I am created in his image and bring his presence to people and show them God in my care for them when I show his love and kindness “to the least of these.”