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Commentary by Roger Oakland

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From time to time a news article catches my attention and provides an excellent analogy for a spiritual lesson. Such was the case when I read the following headline posted by the Associated Press: “Doctors Find 350 Coins in Patient’s Belly.” [1]

Here’s how the article began:

French doctors were taken aback when they discovered the reason for a patient’s sore swollen belly: he had swallowed around 350 coins - $650 worth – along with associated necklaces and needles. The 62-year-old man came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France. He had a history of major psychiatric illness, was suffering from stomach pain and could not eat. [2]

When the man was brought to the hospital, his family warned the emergency staff that the man sometimes swallowed coins. When an x-ray was taken, the examining doctors could not believe their eyes.  An enormous opaque mass in his stomach turned out to be twelve pounds of metal. It was so heavy it had forced his stomach down below his hips.

Obviously, the man had a problem. Although the doctors operated, the man died twelve days later due to complications. He was diagnosed with a condition known as pica – a compulsion to eat things not normally consumed as food. The name of this condition comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that is thought to eat just about anything.

Obviously, this was a very sad and tragic situation. Let me make it clear that by mentioning this poor man’s malady, I am not intending to make light of mental illness. The reason this article caught my attention was because it provided an excellent analogy to help understand what goes wrong when human beings, like you or me, make wrong choices, when feeding ourselves spiritually.

It is apparent to anthropologists the human race is very different from the animal kingdom. Mankind has a great hunger for the spiritual dimension. From a biblical perspective, we know that at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden the harmonious relationship between God and man was shattered. As a result, billions of people since then have been feeding themselves spiritually with garbage.

The Bible teaches if we want to be spiritually fed so that we can be spiritually fulfilled, there is one way only. Jesus said He was “the bread of life.” If we want to know what life is all about, we need to be obedient to Jesus Christ and His word.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of counterfeit spiritual sources and resources that God’s adversary, Satan, entices us to try. The results are always the same – just like the man from France who swallowed all the coins.

Make sure you are being fed the right spiritual diet. Eternity is a long time to spend in hell.

I am Roger Oakland. This has been a biblical perspective to help understand the times.



[1]Jeff Donn, “Doctors Find 350 Coins in Patient’s Belly,” AP Wire, StarNewsOnline,com,
[2]  Ibid



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