Lament on Healthcare

Lament on Healthcare

My heart is breaking. To see the healthcare proposal coming out of the Senate, knowing thousands of people’s lives hang on the decisions of a few. I don’t even know what to begin thinking about it. It’s unfathomable.

Some politics I wouldn’t comment about here. Not that I don’t have opinions. Just, if it doesn’t seem terribly related to faith, Journey’s blog doesn’t seem the place.

But a healthcare bill that will lead to poverty and death? We talk all the time about the God of life—how God creates life and sustains life and fights for life.

So a bill that will prevent people from accessing health care. A bill that will result in pain, and suffering, and death. This is not a place where faith stands neutral.

If I worship a God who is committed to life, then I must so commit myself.

It is unconscionable to me that people whom we have tasked with representing us would do otherwise. If you do not care for your people, then what are your purposes? I understand a piece of the politics here (small government, fiscal responsibility—got it, thanks). But what do we do when clinics close and people die and women can’t afford to reproduce? What will be our consequence of putting an economic ideal before humanity?

I feel sadness and fear and rage in the face of these proposals—all the ingredients for lament. Perhaps we find ourselves in a time of sackcloth and ashes, of weeping and gnashing teeth. We cry out to our representatives that they might see our anguish and turn toward our need. We plead to God to soften their hearts. We weep with our loved ones who have suffered, who will suffer. We wander the streets at a loss for how to subdue this beast we have fed.

And in a layer of our lament, we mourn our loss of self. How did we arrive in this place? How have we managed to fail one another so mightily? Is this really what we hoped for? Who will care for the sick? Who will bury the dead?

Or will we continue to lock ourselves in our houses and thank God that we are safe? That we are well and that tragedy has not fallen on us? Meanwhile the walls collapse around us. God forgive us. God sustain us. God turn us away from selfishness and toward one another.

We weep. We rage. And our repentance must be fierce. For the sake of humanity and all of God’s creation. Hear our prayer, O God.

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