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Monday, March 22, 2010

What I’m Reading Today: Luke 6:27-49

The passage of the Health Care Reform was a wonderful moment to live through. Our household certainly knew first hand of the limitations of the current health care system. You see several years ago, I chose to withdraw my participation in the denomination health care plan since the premiums were extremely expensive and the coverage was very limited. This meant we went on Mike’s insurance plan.

At first this wasn’t a problem because Mike enjoyed his job. Over the years, however, Mike’s enjoyment of his position in Denver declined dramatically. In fact it got to the point where Mike hated his job. Unfortunately, Mike was forced to continue in the position because we wouldn’t have been able to get coverage due to a pre-existing condition that one of us had. That meant Mike was forced to spend four years in a job he hated simply so we could have health insurance. Our story never showed up in any of the statistics used in the debate over the issue; unfortunately, it was a story that millions of American had lived as well. Needless to say, we felt very strongly about the need for reform.

Whenever I would hear opponents of the reform use fear-based arguments to support their position, I would get extremely agitated and ask: “Doesn’t that person care about the tens of millions of people in our country who have no health insurance?!” And from there, things would attitudinally deteriorate for me very quickly.

It’s at just such moments I am challenged with the words Jesus spoke in today’s reading: “Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.”

Thinking of those words in the midst of the healthcare debate reminded me that those words aren’t simply platitudes - they are difficult words meant to guide us through the most challenging moments of our lives. If I can hold on to the spirit of those words at the most trying of moments, then I can hold on to them almost any time.

Today, I would ask, “What circumstance pushes your buttons and causes you to want to ignore Jesus’ call to love your enemy?” Once you identify that situation and the threat it poses to your spiritual centeredness, you are half way there.

Til next time…

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