One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself -- that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving.~ James Baldwin ~
from his book The Fire Next Time
I am really pleased that the health care reform bill passed...for a number of personal reasons. I realize that many people are not so happy about it. I am related to a number of them and their comments on Facebook exhibit their fears and concerns. I understand.
Here's what I don't understand:
One of the biggest complaints I hear is that people don't want to pay for someone else's health care. I guess the assumption is that if you don't have health care, it is through some fault of your own--but that is only a guess.
The part I don't understand is that many of the complainers call themselves Christian and they don't want to give a hand up to someone in need.
Glenn Beck (not my relative, and I do thank God for that) has told people that if they go to a church where the minister preaches "social justice" that they should leave that church and go somewhere else.
Jesus was all about social justice. And helping people in need. And sharing the wealth. And loving the other as we love ourselves.
Maybe...maybe these friends and relatives have never been without health care or known what it is like to live on the edge of (or in) poverty. Getting out is not as simple as getting a job.
Maybe they have never been sick or been denied coverage. For them, I am glad.
Maybe they have never had to make the choice between paying their medical bills or their rent or buying food. Hallelujah.
I do know these things.
I am trying to have compassion for their point of view and their fears that something might be taken from them. I get it. And may they find the grace to stand in someone else's shoes for just a moment and understand that not everyone who is in need is a slacker or a degenerate who is looking for a free ride. Sometimes people get sick--through no fault of their own. It could happen to anyone. Anyone. At. Any. Time.
Here's the risk I am taking: I am speaking my truth.
I needed this bill to pass. I know others who needed this bill to pass.
And you know what? As happy as I am that it passed, I am also heartbroken at the name calling and blaming and lack of generosity of spirit from fellow Christians.
If you want to share your truth, I am listening.