June 27, 2012

Health Care and Healing


Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.
- Mark 5:25-26


It’s one thing to have health care.  It’s another thing to have healing.  This woman in Mark’s Gospel who had suffered for a dozen years had plenty of health care.  Like so many people today, the health care system took all of her resources, and yet, she had no healing.  It was in her encounter with Jesus that she found healing – and that came without payment.

We live in a strange era when health care is enormously expensive for so many people, with insurance premiums out of reach, medical bills that bankrupt, and prescription drug costs that leave some without money for dinner.  And yet, we have so many who have little or no true healing.

In our time of politicizing of health care, we should ask openly:  Where is the healing?  Why does the system take so much and heal so few? 

It could be the place of the church today to do two primary things:  Speak on behalf of those who are left out of our health care system, and who are bankrupted by medical bills.  And, offer the healing that comes freely:  Grace without price.  Love in a community that accepts all.  Food that heals the soul.  Faith that trusts in God alone, whether in health or illness, life or death.  How radical the good news  when health care is so expensive, that healing comes only when it is free.

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