Oh yeah. My first tendency is to be conflict averse. I'm getting over that. I've got good medicine.
It's called the Gospel.
I've been watching information and misinformation about the current health care reform debate. And I've watched the pithy status lines and polls on facebook, sound bites that sometimes wound. It would pain me less to see actual honest debate without spin. My first tendency is to not wade into these waters.
But I'm reminded that at the Pool, the way to be healed was to wade in--well...at least until Jesus showed up! But it's not just a superstition that we deal with by the water's edge. Jesus asks, "Do you want to be healed?"
Do we want to be healed?
I think we'd rather fear. Because fear is easier. It isolates us. It means we maintain control, or at least the illusion of control. It means we don't have to untidy our lives or entangle them with the lives of others. It means we can continue to feel more worthy.
It also means that we can go on fearing death in secret, though we proclaim that we are living even now our eternal life.
This caveat--I deeply desire to read information from each side of the debate. I also deeply desire to NOT read anything that can be said in 30 seconds or less. This reform is far too complex for 30 seconds or less. It's far too complex for single anecdotal evidence. I don't feel I yet know enough about this to comment specifically on what plan would be best for us to adopt. I am predisposed to have a desire that all people might have access to health care because I believe that the Gospel mandates that we care for each other, including the sojourner and the stranger. I don't know the optimal way to do it.
But I do know that this debate is currently more about our fear than it is our faith. And when we spend more time wounding each other than praying and discussing what it means to be people of faith in the midst of a time when we could influence the care of millions of people, it makes me wonder what is at the root of our fear. The wounds have left blood in the water and those who feed on our fears have sensed that we are much easier to manipulate.
I want to be healed. I desire healing for all. The vision of Isaiah 65 stands in my mind: "No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed." We cannot abandon the wealthy. We cannot abandon the poor. We cannot abandon children. We cannot abandon the elderly.
I know this may mean I have to sacrifice more. I may end up with less so that others might have enough.
I also believe that is the kingdom. I am ashamed that I might have to be "forced" into that. Maybe the time to start is now.
A Place at the Table
2 months ago