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It is a night I will never forget.  It was Saturday evening, and dinner was warm and ready.  Our younger acrobat, gymnast, and dancer, then three years old, decided to practice all three disciplines on the arm of the living room sofa.  It didn’t go well.  The routine resulted in a tumble – head first onto the brick floor in front of the fireplace.  Amidst the wailing, the immediate inspection showed some swelling but no signs of blood, and our fallen hero was conscious and coherent.  Then the decision: were we on our way to the emergency room?  We decided to wait and see.

An hour into the tense monitoring period we witnessed signs of incoherence, and then came the vomiting.  The decision was made for us: we were off to AI DuPont Children’s Hospital, ignoring every speed limit sign on the way.

By the grace of God we returned home a little before sunrise with a little boy who was still scared and completely exhausted…but healthy.

At several points during that interminable evening while sitting beside the gurney I tried to imagine what it would be like to have spent the night at his bedside at home because the decision to go to an emergency room was not an option.  I tried to imagine the anguish of staying up all night in our home with prayer as our only medicine.  I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be a parent who is forced to factor in the cost of care in making a decision about what is best for a beloved child.

There are 48.6 million people in our country who live with such anguish every single day.

As of this writing the Federal Government remains “shut down” because some are rejecting a bold attempt to relieve this anguish.  I wonder how many of those obstructing this effort have ever sacrificed their own health – or that of their child – for lack of insurance.

The structural and systemic attempt to provide universal health care is by no means perfect.  It is, and will remain, a work in progress.  And yet with time, patience, creativity, and deep commitment we can live for the day when no one in the richest nation in the world, with the greatest health care facilities in the world, will have to use a calculator as their primary instrument for health care.

May God bless the vision in which all of God’s children receive the very best health care; that it would become our reality.

Peace,
Andy
www.hanoverchurch.org

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