It's one of those days when I'm tossing thoughts around like darts at a target, wondering if the connections (commonalities?) I see in them are real.
And today it's this odd sense of things happening at the wrong time. The right things, sometimes the right things done the wrong way, but just the oddness in the timing.
Part of my thoughts are around this conversation : http://rachelheldevans.com/ask-a-gay-christian-response . It's remarkable how many of my facebook friends (from widely varying convictions and backgrounds!) have posted it. And it's a great conversation, and I think Justin and Rachel (and/or whoever is moderating her blog) have done an amazing job with it. But why now? Where was the grace at Bishop Robinson's ordination? Where was the willingness to listen and dialogue then? I'll out myself here- I'm a clergy kid, and I will ALWAYS side on giving grace and respect to pastors/shepherds/priests/overseers/ term of your choice. There are few things in this world that make me as profoundly sad as the fact that Gene Robinson's tenure as bishop was marked with threats and violent hate...to the extent that he battled dependence on alcohol (for which he received in-patient treatment) and chose to retire early. This hurts me more when I acknowledge that even though I don't closely follow his work, I am so often delighted by what I find in it- wisdom, grace and a love for God. (His book has a pretty high spot on my to-read list).
And then there's healthcare. I was responsible for showing this documentary to a class while their professor was away at a conference. And...I don't know what to say. Ted Kennedy's death was such a profound moment. That sounds stupid, but I can't think of any way to put it. Did health care reform cost Obama his chance for a second term? I hope not. Oh, good heavens, do I hope not. Was it the right thing to do, regardless? YES. Is the Affordable Care Act the reform I'd like to see? Are you kidding? There's funds for abstinence-only sex ed in there. And I want a public option- I think a public option ought to be the centerpiece of healthcare reform, actually. But it's a step... A step Ted Kennedy worked so hard for.
Then...there's me. I cried when President Bush vetoed the SCHIP expansion. I cared about health care for years before I was diagnosed with Crohn's. Not that long ago, I didn't know what it was like to be prescribed a medication for which a 30 day supply (without insurance coverage) costs as much as my rent. I've burned through over half of my prescription coverage for the policy year less than two months into it. (Now, I'm also on student health insurance, which is a conversation in itself). And, frankly, if it comes down to it, it's way better for my health to not be homeless than to not take my medicine. How did I care so much then, before I knew the fears that come with living in the United States as a person with a serious chronic disorder?
And I do feel a need to put a disclaimer out here...things aren't that bad for me. The medical profession knows what this disease is, and how to treat it. I likely will have as long a lifespan as someone without the disease, and I think I have reason to hope that I won't live many more years disabled than someone presently in good health.
But what makes things salient? Why am I lost in a slew of figures nearly as old as I am when I'm trying to find the context for my work in Belize? Why do we ask different questions at different times, and why do people yell so loudly I can't hear what they're saying? I have a priest friend who tells me "Don't waste your anger." I think I do an okay job most days... I manage to stay out of Facebook flamewars, and I know that sudden punch of urgency when you realize most people don't get it yet (latest openmouth shocked moment: 34% of women in the Toledo District of Belize believe that a man is justified in beating his partner, as of 2006). But it's whatever that "next thing" is that I'm struggling to find...and I think, in some way, my dissertation will be "that next thing."