Monday, October 02, 2006

I’m struggling with a notion I have that out culture has a disordered notion of how to express compassion for those with diseases.

There is a lot of work an effort expended on “curing” diseases, but not much about “caring.” We raise some money, take a nice walk in the park on a spring day, get a T-shirt, and tell ourselves we’re doing what we can for victims of disease. And things like Amendment 2 receive wide support, because we want to support cures for diseases after all.

But I think this is grace on the cheap. It’s a lot easier to take a walk through the park on a spring day than it is to clean up after someone who can’t control his bowels, or hold someone’s hand as they’re going through pain, or give your daughter daily chest therapy and medicine. But I think this type of care is what we’re called to first. I help Meagan more by caring for her every day than I would working for a cure.

The reason I’m struggling is that this all sounds good and makes sense until I look to how Jesus responded to those with diseases. He didn’t just love diseased people where they were – He cured them. He didn’t talk about the virtues of suffering blindness or leprosy or demons, he freed people from those things.
So, that stops me from getting to worked up about what I still think is our culture’s disordered response to diseases.
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