Health care reform.
Alone, these three words are enough to spark debates and arguments that will continue into the wee hours of the morning. Depending upon who you are talking to, you may be conversing for months. Years.
I am writing because, last Sunday night left something of a bittersweet taste in my mouth: sweet, in that President Barack Obama managed to actually fulfill one of his campaign promises; bitter, in that this promise will probably only be carried out in the broadest, most general sense.
Holding my breath, I’ve been doing my best to avoid the inevitable landslide of right-wing rage that will likely pour out in this country, on this campus. At the end of the day, it’s probably justified. At the end of the day, many Americans will probably still go to bed without coverage.
I am no exception.
Other than basic emergency room coverage, no one in my immediate family is benefited by health insurance. My father leads a struggling small business, upon which he recognizes the government through paying taxes, and upon which the government recognizes him through receiving taxes, rather than boldly using them.
So what are we to do now?
This morning, I prayed for the country. Which is, to me, a strange thing. Typically, I pray for the people closest to me, dearest to me. But today, I prayed for the direction that God will take America. I am not so proud as to say that God only loves America. As a song once mentioned, God has the entire world in His hands.
When I think of the days to come, the months to come, I am excited. I am terrified. For myself, for the ones I love, and for the country that God has used to bless me thus far.
And though my cynicism whispers in my ear, telling me that the rich will become richer while the poor will become poorer, I pray for God’s provision and mercy, and remind myself than God is bigger than everything in this moment. God is, bigger than health care reform.
As I see it, the bill is not everything that it can be. That it should be. It is disappointing. Yet, I see it as an opportunity for people to rise up and take initiative. For the few fumbling congressmen trying to use it to the good. For the angry detractors who seek alternatives that actually benefit those in need.
Not too long ago, I read in the paper about doctors that take time out of their practice to offer free services to those who are not able to afford it. What if this bill, regardless of how wonderful or how horrible it is, drove more people to follow this kind of example?
It is for these reasons that I am thankful for the bill. Thankful for what it could be, for what it will not be, and for what it will encourage us to do. My prayer for today is that it drives you to some sort of action, to remind you as it reminds me to more readily rely on our loving Creator.
God be with us. God bless those who inhabit this earth. God bless those who are suffering. God bless America. God keep us. Amen.