In Dear and Glorious Physician, what is the key event that turns the young Luke from God?
In this account of a key evangelical figure who is actually mentioned in the Bible, the life of Lucianus or Luke is developed from start to finish. In particular, rather ironically considering his later evangelical zeal, he is shown to be initially swayed from believing in God thanks to the way in which he looks at the world and sees nothing but pain and suffering. From this perspective, he finds it impossible to move on to a belief in a all-powerful and loving God. For him, if God does exist, he must be profoundly unjust and completely unsympathetic with his creation because of the massive suffering that they experience.
One massive foundational example of this suffering comes when his playmate, Rubria, is condemned to die in spite of her youth of the white sickness. Lucianus never marries, but it is clear from this text that he is presented as having loved Rubria massively. Therefore we can imagine that his feelings of antipathy towards God would have been sharply increased due to her suffering and death. It is never easy to hold on to a belief in a loving and kind God when you are forced to witness the suffering of a dearly loved one, and we can so how the faith of Lucianus suffered as a result.