Tuesday, March 23, 2010



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.


Kathryn Grace said...

Today I read an article, Think Progress » Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers, which I have not had a chance to research and verify.

If true, these events, and the hatred behind them, are beyond anything I can understand. My heart hurts to read of this violence.

There have been other reports today of Twitterers threatening the president's life over this health care bill. The Secret Service is apparently looking into that and I hope they nail those people.

I can only pray that each of these individuals will be healed from the inside out, that so much love will enshroud them that they can no longer be susceptible to the virulent hatred that overtakes them.

This is what I will pray as I stand for peace today.

Thank you for sharing your truth, Wanda. Thank you for speaking out. Thank you for sharing a bit about the direct impact of this bill on your life. We need your voice. The world needs the love you BE.

Kathryn Grace said...

"For in as much as you give unto the least of these, my brethren, you give unto me."

That's what He said, and that's all I intended to say, when I began writing the previous comment.

Wanda said...

Yes, Kathryn. That keeps running through my head, too.

Susan O'Neil said...

Right on sista!

Keep on speaking your truth. It's part of the education process and it's part of the healing process we need for our country. And keep on praying for these nutjobs and for me that i can see beyond their nutjobness.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I think a lot of people love the idea, but feel the government cannot afford it, my husband for one.

Wanda said...

Carrie, I would bet that STM and I could have a respectful conversation about this. I welcome thoughtful concerns and I know that we are not all going to agree. While it would be nice if we could, it is just not realistic. The issue isn't those who are not "for" this bill. The issue is the hatred, name calling, threats, and violent behaviors. I know that there are many who disagree with me who are not participating in those behaviors. I take no issue with them and I do respect them in their positions, just as I hope they would respect me in mine. So, no offense intended to those who disagree with me--just those who are behaving in the above-mentioned ways.