The Lenhart Family

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Health Care Reform According to the Haitian Church

My blogs have been few and far between these days (as I'm sure you my imaginary readers have noticed lol) because at the end of January, we welcomed two boys we were in the process of adopting into our home. Blogging has taken a back seat to connecting with my two newest precious Haitian miracles. In all area's of my life, I am trying to say "no" more so that I can say "yes" to what matters most (which is my children in the present season of my life) But in light of the massive amount of political mud slinging in regards to health care reform, I can't resist throwing my two cents in the mix and share a story about health care reform through the eyes of my 13 year old son Jedone....

Shortly after returning from Haiti post-earthquake, Jake (my husband) got really sick requiring a 6 day hospitalization. After consulting Oklahoma city's closest version of Dr. Gregory House MD(really a semi- retired infectious disease doctor with knowledge of tropical diseases and medical mission work), we ruled out everything from malaria to dengue fever to hepatitis B and finally concluded that his temporary liver failure was due several different nasty strains of mononucleosis.

Because all meaningful deep conversations with my children usually occurs within the four walls on our mini-van... leaving church one Sunday morning(when Jake was still in the hospital)Jedone looks up at me and asks ....

"Mom did Pastor Kirk (Kurt) give you money today?" (imagine an irresistible heavy Haitian ascent)

"No baby, why would Pastor Kirk give me money?"

"Because Dad is in the hospital. In Haiti, when someone is sick, Pastor Dedro asks for money at church, everybody gives a little money, and then we pray,give them money, and take that man to the hospital."

I didn't have the energy to attempt to explain to him how vastly different health care here is from Haiti nor the abstract concepts of things like insurance and deductibles so we just tabled the conversation for a few days. Later on in the week, some sweet brothers and sisters from our church brought over meals and groceries for us to which Jedone exclaimed...

"OH I GOT IT! In Oklahoma, the church no give money for hospital but when you are sick, they give food!"

Over the several days, I have been a bit bothered by all the division and chaos the health care reform debate has spurred. Let me be clear.... I AM NOT VOICING AN OPINION ON THIS TOPIC. I have not personally read all 2000 pages of the bill (remember I'm all about connecting with my kids and have no time for things don't matter most) and will not allow CNN,FOX news, or any other person or organization tell me how to feel about the issue. But what I will say is this.... I wish there wasn't even a need for health care reform (or other things like social security, welfare, Medicare or DHS). I wish the American church as the beautiful bride of Christ would meet the needs of those around us as outlined in the New Testament. I wish those who are SICK,hungry, hurting, widowed, orphaned, and wanting more would find refuge in the church thus eliminating the need for governmental agencies doing what the church was intended to do. In some ways, the heated debates generated by the health-care reform can be viewed as an opportunity — an opportunity for the church to examine what we are and what we are not doing to care for the sick among us.

I'm not naive enough to think the solution to issues as big as this can be tackled by the church overnight...but I am not foolish enough to ignore the insight offered to me from my son and his experience with Haitian church.

"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. " ~Matthew 10:7,8

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?" ~Matthew 25:35-37

Disclaimer: My target audience is always my imaginary reader, me, myself, and I. So there is no condemnation or judgment intended for anyone other than my own Pharisee like reflection in the mirror as I journey to remove the plank in my own eye.

1 comment:

whitney said...

This blog (what I have read so far) is truly beautiful, amazing and inspiring. Thank you so much for your stories. I know we don't know eachother, I found this blog through a friends facebook, but you are a beautiful writer. (=