Paraphrasing Reséndez with a Health Focus

In A Land So Strange by Andréz Reséndez he re-accounts the journey of Cabeza de Vaca and his fellow survivors. Cabeza de Vaca and his friends had many trying experiences including being slaves for six years. After six years the men escape and end up becoming healers. The men do not choose to be healers but instead one of their owners made them blow on a sick Native American and because Cabeza de Vaca and his friends are Catholic they made the sign of the cross and prayed. Strangely the Native American lived and Cabeza de Vaca and his friends got a reputation of being faith healers. Reséndez explains that in the 16th century in Spain miracles were not an unheard-of thing, so the survivors believed that they were merely the instrument and that God was healing the Native Americans. Reséndez also states that in today’s age one would try and explain the miracles through science. I agree with Reséndez that the survivors believed that God was helping them and I think that is ultimately became their biggest strengths.

In the 1500s religion was very important to people so this is how Cabeza de Vaca and his friends rationalized their survival. As Reséndez explains Cabeza de Vaca believes God was testing him and it was no mere coincidence that he lived while 296 other people that were with him died. It is logical that Cabeza de Vaca would believe there was some greater purpose for his survival and it wasn’t mere luck. Cabeza de Vaca and his friends’ belief in a higher power helped them cope with the harsh world and unfortunate circumstances they suddenly found themselves in. Without their belief in God they most likely would never have agreed to become healers, because they had no justification to their healing, and would not risk blowing on someone with the hope that they would get better. Without a belief in God they most likely would have given up and died.

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