If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
(Matthew 16:24-26, NKJV)
On February 24, 1997, L.W., a 47-year-old woman, came to see me at the Better Living Clinic because she had been suffering from chronic and persistent abdominal pain without relief for six months. In March, I performed an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), which revealed a gastric ulcer 15 mm in diameter. I recommended that she discontinue the NSAID (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) she was taking for osteoarthritis (OA, a form of degenerative disease) for pain control.
I started L.W. on Biaxin and amoxicillin for helicobacter pylori eradication, along with treatment for her gastric ulcer. The repeat EGD, after three months of this intense treatment for the ulcer and the infection, revealed a complete, beautiful healing of the ulcer. She was grateful, even though she had no health insurance and could not pay for the treatment.
About five years later, in January of 2003, L.W. came to see me again. She was suffering from recurrent abdominal pain. I performed another EGD, which revealed six gastric ulcers 10-to-15 mm diameter. She was placed on Protonix. To my utter surprise and joy, she made rapid progress and recovery from the gastric ulcers, with complete resolution of her abdominal pain. And, once again, I treated her free of charge–with joy in my heart for her complete recovery twice!
With overflowing gratitude, she told everyone who would listen– relatives and neighbors, even those on the street– about her experience. To my big surprise, so many were impressed by her personal experience that they came to see me for consultation for a variety of illnesses. As I witnessed all these patients, who came as a result of L.W.’s powerful testimony, I came to an important realization and logical conclusion.
I treated L.W. for an illness, with her best interest in mind. With joy and a smile, I took good care of her medical problem when she needed it most, even though I knew from the very start I would not be paid. But it was L.W. who sent and referred many patients with good health insurance benefits to see me at the Better Living Clinic. She taught me some interesting but illogical mathematics:
1+1 = 2 (regular mathematics)
1+0 ≥ 10 (God’s mathematics, mathematics of service)
I realized there was something profound by looking at these two sets of mathematics. My heart was deeply touched, and I lowered my head in recognition of this “new found” math. It is truly a paradox! You lose, but you also gain! I was reminded of the words spoken by Jesus recorded in Matthew 16:24-26, and I was deeply touched.
To sum up, there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between regular mathematics and God’s mathematics. This fact really dawned on me during this experience and has never left me. I was deeply humbled by this realization: YOU LOSE SOME, BUT YOU GAIN MORE!
– Yoshinobu Namihira, LLUSM class of 1980-B