Last Monday I missed writing this weekly reflection, because I was in the hospital. Thankfully all went well and I am fully recovered. During my brief stay there, I experienced a great level of both medical and personal care. A bulletin board in my room featured the hospital’s concise mission statement, “Passion for Excellence, Compassion for You.” As I reflect on that statement and my experience, two things come to mind:
I am aware that not everyone has access to this kind of healthcare. Because I have insurance, I received wonderful treatment. This should be available to everyone as a basic right. Our nation has the resources to make this possible if we have the will to do so. Any of us who believe that all people are made in the image of God need to advocate for this.
2. It also occurred to me that this statement should also apply to the Church. My ordination is in The United Methodist Church which recently concluded a General Conference that was deeply painful and divisive. Groups with different theological and cultural perspectives could not agree on how to maintain unity within diversity. In particular, there was division over full inclusion of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. Once again, seeing the image of God in each other and accepting each other regardless of sexual orientation is consistent with the way of Jesus as I understand and practice. When I was in the hospital last week, no one inquired about my sexual orientation before providing excellent and compassionate medical care. Can the Church live up to the witness of the hospital? I hope so.