"The Great Physician"
by Ken Painter
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there? Why then has
the health of my poor people not been restored?
" (Jeremiah 8: 22, NRSV)
I'm an old man now, but it doesn't seem so long ago that once upon a time I was built like a brick barn. Gone are the days when on a 5-year hiatus from teaching I worked in a tire factory throwing around 125-pound truck tire casings all day long six days a week. And yet today, as I compare notes with my peers about these fools-golden years, I often note with amazement the many obstacles some of us face health-wise just to make it from one month to the next.
Just check the weekly church bulletin and see how many of our friends are facing health-related obstacles, and you'll realize what I'm referring to. I know that all of us no matter what age have health issues, but as I've grown older it just seems that mine have grown exponentially. I've often said lately that I'm held together by stents, titanium, and faith. But not everyone in this world has what I have.
Despite the fact that over the past seven years of approximately 21 days of hospital overnight stays, I've been blessed by reasonably good health coverage to pay for most of it, including the multiple ER visits, and some of the ambulance rides. I wish I could say the same for
Americans. And let's not stop there! In a world of woe where Christ repeated the law that "You shall love your neighbor
(Matt. 22: 39), shouldn't we be concerned that everyone throughout the earth has access to the same level of health care as each one of us right here enjoys . . . perhaps?