We are living in a world that is sick. Both literally sick, with 60 percent of adults in the US living with a chronic illness and rising rates of autoimmune diseases in particular, including long COVID, and figuratively sick, facing ever increasing rates of burnout, anxiety, and disconnection.
As a writer, activist, and theology student, Lyndsey Medford was used to critiquing unsustainable medical, environmental, economic, and social systems from a theoretical perspective. But when her autoimmune disorder roared out of remission, she discovered that her own body’s systems lived at the very real vortex of all those systems’ dysfunction.
Learning to cooperate with her body would require her to change every aspect of her life–and in the process, to seek a radical reimagining of the world, from a place where sickness is an individual affliction to an interdependent ecosystem where sustainability is a community way of life. In this beautiful and inspiring book, Medford draws on her experiences with a rare autoimmune disease to illuminate the broader lessons we need to learn, in order to heal what ails us individually and communally. Whether our burnout stems from illness, systemic racism, poverty, or simply sin’s separation, we’re all in need of hope, and we are called to heal together.
My Body and Other Crumbling Empires points out the beauty and ubiquity of our limitations; the importance of accessibility, broadly construed; the interconnected nature of individual and public health; and the badly needed wisdom we have gained from living with our particular bodies.