Finally after all these years, I can finally say I have a book group. Actually, I probably had a book group for a few years, but I never went so it was hard to say they were my book group. Standing invitation, all are welcome, but I never could quite read the book that they had on the table. Today marked the second month in a row I read the chosen book and attended the discussion, and I was hugely excited to be able to talk about a book I read (and enjoyed) with a group of thoughtful interesting readers.
We read and discussed this biography of Paul Farmer, a Christ-like character who has set about to provide health care for the world starting with the most impoverished of nations, Haiti. Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder wrote this in 2003 after spending many months traveling with Farmer and interviewing his friends and colleagues.
Paul has almost literally given himself over to the lifetime pursuit of patient care of the world's poorest people and advocating for treatment and prevention of large scale epidemic class diseases like TB and AIDS at the expense of normal family life, comfort, safety, and general ease of living. Paul Farmer sets his own rules and plays by a set of standards that treats the poorest of the poor as though they were entitled to all the medical care that middle class white people are. He does not apologize, take no for an answer, or apparently sleep. He writes individual thank you notes to donors of even $25. He hikes for 7 hours to bring a patient medication. He understands that the cultures and traditions of a country help you treat their sick people.
This story is a remarkable tale about a very unique and inspiring man. I encourage you to read it in your book group.
"As you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).