Part of my job is to read all the civil lawsuits filed in Allen County (excepting small claims). So each day, alongside the felonious actions we take against each other, I pour through the mortgage foreclosures, the divorces and the wrongful death claims.
There’s a lot of medical stuff in there, too, particularly attempts by hospitals and medical groups to collect on the debts owed by the horrendously ill or injured. Those make me particularly sad.
This week I found one that was this poor guy being sued by the local neuro-spine and pain clinic for about $30,000. The bill was attached to the complaint, so I read the itemized charges. It was horrible. Skull infections, burr holes, hydrocephaly, pain meds. And after each treatment, it showed they ran his Blue Cross insurance card and it was denied. Here ya’ go, Mr. Unidentified Sick Guy, sorry about your brain injury and your horrific months of painful treatment but you owe us this much money. Did you know that down the street is federal court, where you can file for bankruptcy so nobody wins?
Why, Rebecca? Why are you telling us this on this happy day of balloons floating past Central Park, cranberry sauce, football games and family time?
Because I am thankful. I am thankful that nothing like that has befallen me or my family. Yet. I am thankful that I am have a job, that my mortgage has been reset at a lower interest rate so I can better afford the annual jacking-up of my insurance premiums.
I hope, though, that we as a nation, particularly those of us who claim to follow Christ, recognize that what happened to Unnamed Sick Guy is unacceptable in a developed country and that greater attention is needed as to who profits from others’ misfortune. I hope that we recover that inherent socialism that drives Limbaugh so crazy this time of year when we remember the shared table of the first (probably mostly mythical) Thanksgiving. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not.
So be thankful, my friends. Have a glass of wine and grab another slice of pie and be grateful that this year you probably weren’t the “least of these.” But remember those that are and remember that there, but for the grace and intervention of God, you could very easily go in the next 12 months.