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I still have good days and bad days.  (I suspect I always will.)  The difference between good and bad and better and worse is often one of degrees.  Today my head hurts slightly.  Today I will always know where the excedrin bottle is.  Today I will barely leave the couch.  Today I will only get out of bed.  And similar scales.  Most of my days, thankfully, land on the better and good end of the scale.  I know what it’s like when days tend to land on the other end of the scale.  When the “good” days are the days when you only have to take two naps, one pain pill, can think.   And I know that there are days in the middle days where I don’t want to or don’t have time to or am just sick of talking about being sick and so need to pass as healthy,  as having a good day.  I need to act healthy.  Despite the pain in my head, or my back, or my leg, or whatever.

There’s another time I do this.  I do this after surgery as I become healthy.  It’s actually an important skill then.  Because if I don’t start acting healthy, despite wanting to sit on the couch and sleep, despite better knowing how to be sick, I’ll never really believe that I am healthy.  I’ll never discover that I can make it down the street or up the stairs or do whatever or go where ever.

In the church I think we get caught thinking we are still sick.  Or to put in the terms we use, still dysfunctional, still caught in a prior generation’s way of thinking, still caught up in the way we’ve always done things.  We forget that the world has moved and that we, sometimes, oftentimes, haven’t.  And as this reality catches up with us, we want to take things slow.  To stay on the couch and have committee meetings, to read books, to commission studies, when what we need to do, sometimes, oftentimes, is try getting up and moving across the room.

But sometimes we need to act healthy.  Today.  Even when it seems impossible to believe that it could be true.  Even when our heads hurt or our muscles ache and the people coming to church aren’t the people we thought would come or aren’t coming at all.  Because sometimes when we act healthy we discover that we are better off than we thought we were.  Today.

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By now we all know about the utter devastation that the earthquake in Haiti left behind.

We have begun to hear the stories of family, friends, or the family or friends of friends who are dead or lost or narrowly avoided escape.

We have begun to hear the stories of how help–food, medicine, rescuers, has been having trouble reaching those in need because of how poor and desperate Haiti was before this tragedy.

We give money, we offer prayers, we live in the shock, new once again, that such horrors happen in the same world we live in.

O God whose presence is more unshakeable than either your creation or your people, help us to be steadfast in  reaching out to our brothers and sisters whose lives, homes, and country has been devastated in your name, that we may represent to them your enduring love.  We ask this through Jesus the Christ, who reminded us that all that we do is done for him.  Amen

If you know of no charity which is able to help in Haiti, I’ll point you toward Episcopal Relief and Development.  ERD already has contacts and the ability to help in Haiti.  All monies given go toward providing aid, not administration.

“Children shouldn’t become experts in things like that.”

I love Patrick Stewart.  I do.  One of my favorite memories is seeing him playing MacBeth on Broadway.  (Feel free to be jealous.  He was fabulous.)  Here he is talking about domestic violence and his family.

And I know what he says here is truth.  I’ve worked with other kids who grew up and are growing up in homes like his was.  I’ve heard their stories and felt as powerless as they are.

And I know two things.  Patrick is right, “children shouldn’t become experts in things like that.”  And there are things we can do.  The first thing is knowing that domestic violence happens and learning to see when it is happening and then to find the courage to do something.  For more information visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Jon over at ASBO Jesus, has another great comic up.  I like a lot of his work and am the tiniest bit jealous because I can’t draw.

I saw this one and immediately thought of how true it is for people on either side of the debate currently going on in my own denomination.ASBO institutionalchurchI am reminded of a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  “It is not the experience of Christian brotherhood [community], but sure and certain faith in brotherhood [community] that holds us together.”  Life Together

May our faith be greater than our differences.

I don’t spend a lot of time using this space to comment on current issues.  In fact, I could probably number the posts in which I have on one hand.  It’s not because I don’t care.  I do.  It’s because that’s never what I meant for this space to be.  I meant this space to be a lot less than it is now.  And I have an opinion.

A nation-wide debate has broken out over health-care.  Specifically over Obama’s proposed national answer to the problems that are in our current healthcare system.

As someone who has had three brain surgeries, as someone who remembers the over-the-phone debates with the PPO about covering her mother’s cancer care, as someone who is currently paying more than $600/month to maintain insurance coverage, I have an opinion.  (If you know me, I trust you are not surprised.)

I believe that every person has the right to be as healthy as they choose to be.  I believe that no person should have to weigh going to the doctor against being able to feed themselves.  I believe that emergency rooms should not need to be the first line of health care for the poor.  I believe that our children should receive the healthcare they need to grow into strong adults.  I believe that none of these things need to happen.  And I know that they do.

I know that nationally based health care solutions will cost money.  I also know that our country has spent the last 7 years (I’m being conservative)engaged in one or more military actions to the tune of billions of dollars a year.  We have chosen to allow our government to spend this money because we believed it was important.  If we decide that allowing every citizen the opportunity to be healthy is important the cost will not be the deciding factor.

This is a choice that the next generation will (rightfully) judge us by.  This is a choice that will affect the health of the next generation.

I believe that a single-payer system is a solution.   A solution that we can make a reality.  I believe that we can take actions that will make a difference.  I know that we need a public health care option.

I believe that all we need is to do is decide that health care matters.  That everyone should have equal access to a doctor, to medications, to tests.  That health is not optional or out of reach for anyone.

The question is: will we?

I’ve written my representative and senator.  (HCAN makes this easy.)

I’d like to think you’d all agree with me.  But, regardless, have an opinion.  Be informed.  Be upset or elated at what happens.

Decide if this matters to you.  Act.

On most issues, I understand that other people can have different, valid opinions that are not mine and potentially be correct.  This isn’t one of them.

Be informed.  Have an opinion.  I could be wrong.  But I think the country, especially the young and the old, need and deserve access to health care.  I think that when people are sick they should be able to see doctors.  I think people shouldn’t have to worry about affording the medications they need to be healthy or stay alive.

I’ve written my representative and my senator.  HCAN makes this easy.  Be informed.  Have an opinion.  Take part in this discussion.

Health Care Reform

I support Health Care for America Now

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