I had the chance to help a friend out today. His elderly father recently moved in with him and his family, and my friend asked me to stay with him while he went to an appointment.
My friends dad has been a deacon at his church for 33 years. He’s a saintly man, and, although his physical health is failing him, his mind is sharp and alert. It was a blessing for me to sit with him for a few hours. As he dozed, I sat there thinking about how fragile life can be, and how precious good health is.
This past Wednesday, I took a young man to a free health clinic called Mission of Mercy. I blogged about it before we went. The place was crowded when we got there, and the people needing to be seen continued to grow during the time we were there. It was a bit scary to see how many people are in need of medical care but lack insurance or the ability to pay.
Since we had gotten there early, he was one of the first to be seen. Later, he told me how kind everyone had been to him. I didn’t realize this, but he had been without health insurance since his father lost his job three years ago. He suffers from arthritis in his knee, and he’s been in pain for the last couple of years. He had never heard of Mission of Mercy before I mentioned it to him.
With a shot of cortisone and a prescription for a pain reliever, he was sent on his way. I can’t begin to express the relief that was on his face when we left. As I wrote Wednesday, so many of us, including myself, take health care for granted.
A quickly growing population of our fellow citizens are going without, or are underinsured. With the shape our country is in, who knows where this is going to end.
I just want to once again commend those, like the folks at Mission of Mercy, who are reaching out to help this population get the medical care they need. It broke my heart to think this young man waited two years to get help, and it happened only because I saw him rubbing his knee when we were out to dinner.
Good health is precious, and so is good health care. We need to do what we can to help people gain both. That truly is a Mission of Mercy.