As a Christ-centered healthcare ministry, GraceMed serves a calling to bring healing where there is suffering and pain. We do so as vessels pouring out the restorative love that God extends equally to all of His creation. Day to day, our focus is on caring for those who wouldn’t otherwise be cared for. We refer to them as the underserved.
But this year, first because of a pandemic and now because of the tragic, senseless taking of George Floyd’s life, the intolerable unfairness of being underserved has been brightly exposed. In numbers that are shockingly disproportionate, the coronavirus has been taking the lives of African Americans, not because of any genetic vulnerabilities, but simply because they struggle the most to gain access to healthcare. They are also working in so many of the jobs that have proven to be most “essential” to sustain the lives of others in our service-driven, retail society. We are discovering how very valuable they are and how terribly unfair it is that they are not valued.
I know this reality firsthand. As an African American woman, I have seen the rampant inequities that are built into our social structures and institutions. But I have to say that what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis and to others in other cities recently has truly broken my heart. This tragic series of events have exposed a level of animosity, bigotry, and disregard for human life, which I had hoped would have passed from our experience by now. The depravity of these actions must absolutely be opposed and purged from our streets and neighborhoods.
What we need, though, is the wisdom to know how to move forward from legitimate protest to lasting change. Policy and law-making are certainly part of the answer. Voting for leaders who genuinely want to help make those changes is nothing less than essential to the process. But the death of George Floyd was the consequence of a deeper sickness as real and systemic as the coronavirus itself. To think in terms, we are familiar with in healthcare, its symptom is the divisiveness that polarizes virtually every aspect of our lives these days. But the contagion that causes it is our capacity to hate.
It’s easy to get caught up in the arguments and counter-arguments of any issue and, before you even know it, you’re resenting the person whose views you disagree with. But there’s a method to that madness. Ephesians 6:12 explains it this way. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” When these conflicts that rage between us compelled us to hate, we have already lost no matter which side we are on.
That’s why at GraceMed, we continue to serve a mission that has love at its core: “To show and share the love of Jesus Christ” through healing. Healing can take many forms, including the healing that justice and fairness can bring. I join with everyone here at GraceMed to offer a prayer that in the days ahead during this moment of change in our history, we will all experience the healing power of God’s love in our hearts. When we do, I am confident it will transform the way we treat each other and, ultimately, the future we build together.