I recently read a fabulous book, “God’s Hotel” by Victoria Sweet. This part memoir, part examination of the changes in health care in the past couple of decades is in all respects a worthy read. (it’s my favorite book of 2012) One of the things Dr. Sweet wrote that has resonated most beautifully in my mind was her reminding us modern readers of the value of “Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman”. As she shows throughout the book, though your medical team can work wonders in removing the direct cause of dysfunction in the body through medicine or surgery, it is the body which heals itself. The “tincture of time” is the ultimate medicine. But there are three doctors who must be given their due — Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman — in order for the tincture of time to be effective.
And what better place to invite Drs. Diet, Quiet and Merryman than to a family meal? When you sit down at the end of the day with great food in front of you, shared with people you love — that’s good medicine. It’s where healing can happen. The world offers us many things in the course of a day, and not all wholesome things. There are annoyances, suffering, pain, and grief in the world. There is also great fun and joy. A delicious meal, shared with loved ones, is good for body, mind, and soul. You take a pause to pray and bless the meal, or offer a toast to the cook or a guest of honor, then tuck into the good food. Your body is nourished, your mind unwinds as you tell the stories of your day, hurts and joys are shared. You can even talk about what books you’ve been reading. So the next time you’re hustling to get dinner on the table, remember that you’re not just serving food. You are inviting three invisible but valuable guests to your table and into your lives: Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman.