I woke up this morning after a night of research into my own options for Affordable Health Care. My options are not affordable, not healthy, and there is no one who cares. However, I discovered a fascinating call from my old friend Jesus on the journey of discovery.
There are some Christian organizations offering a sane alternative to the corporate model of mandatory insurance with unlimited premiums. They are called an Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries. The only problem is, they rely on honesty and trust from their members. They also rely on Jesus, and the bible, and the volunteer work of the people who make it go in the spirit of giving glory to God. It is possible they are Christian Scientists, but it seems there are many other Christian groups and individuals who fit their membership profile. Membership is based on a professed belief in Jesus and the Bible, including the resurrection of Christ, his actual human life on earth as Son of God, and his virgin birth, among other classic articles of faith.
I am someone who has a love of Christ, Mary, Joseph, and the family of humanity-with all the many ways we express goodness as Christianity, or any other sincere religion of kindness. I must admit, though I am a modern woman and a scientist, I know a secret resonance with the teachings of the mysteries of faith.
However, when it comes to faith based organizations, even my own family tradition of the Catholic Church, I get tripped up on many of the ways that truly faithful people scorn and belittle those who are not in their church, or who question the beliefs of their traditions. I am a questioner, probably the kind that was burned in witch hunts of history. I can go deep in understanding why things are as they are, but I can’t rest at the status quo as the final stop on the divine plan.
I see religion as my mother described it, a community of people who can trust each other, and know that their children will be surrounded by folks with good values. There is no sword or threat of hell fire that keeps it together, just a trust and confidence that people are essentially on the same team, doing the best they can with their own gifts and light, available on a volunteer basis to help shoulder each other’s burdens when times are tough.
I don’t relate much to the many ways that the goodness of the church is maligned and devalued due to historic and modern day abuses. It is easy to blame a source of power for problems that exist…An institution that is everywhere and which does not tolerate dissenting views is a big target for people who want to blame the whole group for the crimes of heartless individuals. And people see themselves, with all their passions, poisons, strengths, weaknesses, devotional prayers and unacknowleged shadows in the mirror of their faith. Religion is a container for the expression of all that is humanity, great and small.
Still, as a spiritual witness with many stories of miracles and wonder to my name and in my life, I walk in a world where my optimism for the future is belittled and ignored. I just cannot get behind the greed machine as the truest expression of my human potential. “Generous to a fault” is a quote from a hundred and fifty year old newsletter about my great great great grandmother, and I guess it still runs in the family.
There is a hard lesson about generosity in a world of capitalism… the takers take, and the givers end up broke and powerless. So how do we keep the best of our love of sovereign independence, while honoring our human need to be selfless and loving at times? Our economy is meant to create blessings of Exchange, so that the natural creativity and abundance of our lives can be shared and multiplied. And accounting was created with the best intentions to be fair and smart and beneficial–to count up the scarce resources and preserve them for a time of need, and to allocate them fairly among the family of interdependent creatures, and to keep track of what we traded over time so we can even up the score after a while. But without generosity, or a loving invisible hand at the wheel of the marketplace, the decisions we make tend to favor the selfish instead of the kind. So, how do we fix that?
That is where my arrows of intention are pointed, and I have my eye on a prize that will bring the full blessing of goodness to the helm of this whole world. First, the golden rule, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU, updated to say the hippocratic oath, DO NO HARM.
So that is where my quest for health care brought me this morning. Comments?