My Jehovah’s Witness buddy ticked me off today. I can’t quite remember how we got on the topic, but he started denigrating faith based hospitals almost immediately upon my arrival. My buddy was sitting there with another Witness. I wasn’t happy about that, but at least it was someone he brought one other time and we got along fine then. The new guy has been a Jehovah’s Witness for only a matter of months so I like having the opportunity to connect with him to get him thinking. I’d rather it be one on one, but if I have to have another Witness there, then this is the guy I want there.
After the three of us finished our greetings, by buddy launched into an assault on faith based hospitals. I don’t know if he just had a bad experience at a hospital or if he was showing off to the other Witness, but he was very critical of hospitals started by religious denominations. In San Antonio there are a number of hospitals named after various denominations, Baptist, Methodist, etc. and even though these are not “Christian hospitals” they do have faith based mission statements. A person of any faith or no faith at all can be admitted as a patient or work there, but for some unknown reason, my buddy takes exception with that.
He was talking about how Jesus healed people for free and contrasted that with the hospital’s need to make money. He claimed that all they care about is the “bottom line” by taking more business away from other hospitals. According to him they think of people as “business” and not as patients. He mentioned that hospital board meetings often begin in prayer (I’m not sure how he knows this), and they will ask God to, “bless the hands of the physicians.” This is the part that angered me.
JW: Yeah, they ask God to bless the hands of the doctors. Since their intention is to take patients from other hospitals, does that mean that God is not going to bless the hands of the doctors at other hospitals? Does God care more about patients from one faith-based hospital over the patients of another?
I thought about challenging him on this point, but did not because I was angry. I knew that what I wanted to say would embarrass him in front of this new Witness so I kept it to myself and waited for him to finish his rant. Obviously hospitals need to earn money to operate and I have no doubt that some decisions are made with the bottom line in consideration over the needs of the patients, but that is not always the case.
The reason why I was so sensitive to this issue is because my wife just had surgery this past Monday. Becky is a classical singer and noticed some problems with her voice about four to five months ago. The doctor found a growth on her thyroid. When the doctors did the biopsy and ultrasound, it came back abnormal. A month or so later, we had it checked again and it was growing. There is a 90% chance that it’s NOT cancer, but because of the size, its growth, and the abnormal biopsy, she had to have half of it removed. If cancer is found in the biopsy of that half, then we will have to remove the entire thyroid.
She had to cancel several singing engagements recently as she has not been able to perform at as high a level as she needs to. The growth is positioned right near a nerve that affects her vocal chords. The doctors are all the best voice people in South Texas who understand the importance of her voice not being damaged. We felt very confident with them.
Becky had her operation done at one of the faith based hospitals in the area. Our insurance stinks and we have a HUGE deductible. They will only pay for 50% of the expenses after our deductible is met. When the financial people at the hospital saw what our insurance plan was and how much the procedure was going to cost, they went well out of their way to help us. One particular person took a special interest in us and our situation. They are going to cap the amount we will pay and treat us as if we have no insurance so that we can get a considerable discount if we can pay a certain amount by a specific date.
This is great news for us. For some unknown reason, God has given us favor in the eyes of these people and they are helping us in ways we never would have thought. I even asked one lady, “Why are you being so nice to us?” Her answer was that they just love to help people.
Contrast this with what my Witness buddy was saying and now you can start to understand why I was getting angry. He was railing on faith based hospitals simply because they are faith based. Jehovah’s Witnesses HATE anything religious that does not have anything to do with the Watchtower. My friend fails to acknowledge that a hospital can be faith based, yet still make money in the process. If all they cared about was making money, then they never would have capped our expenses which will save us, yet cost them, THOUSANDS of dollars.
I plan on talking to my Witness friend about this in the future and explain how his comments angered me. I am glad I did not say anything at the time, because it was all too fresh for me at that point. My meeting with him was literally the first time in two days that I had been away from my home because I have been taking care of my wife. I am going to tell him that the timing must have been a “God-thing” because we have had such a different experience than he was describing.
I will also encourage him to go to the local Jehovah’s Witness hospital the next time he or a family member needs medical attention. Since the Witnesses recognize that Jesus healed people for free, I am sure that a Jehovah’s Witness hospital will not charge them a thing. Instead of going to the hospital founded on a faith different than his, he can go to a real faith-based, Watchtower hospital and see how healthcare is supposed to be done.
Oh, wait. You mean to tell me that the apostate churches of Christendom have founded hospitals to help people and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, God’s one true organization, doesn’t have any hospitals? Why not? Do they not care about people as much as Christians do? Why is it that you can you criticize a faith-based hospital merely because it isn’t your faith, yet your faith doesn’t have any hospitals at all? Didn’t someone once say something about taking care of the LOG in our own eyes before we address the sawdust in someone else’s? (Matthew 7:3)
My wife and I are extremely grateful for all of the help we have received from the hospital and are still receiving from our family and friends. Our kids were taken care of by grandparents for two days giving us a quiet home for Becky to recover. Good friends also took care of our dog and many other friends have brought us so many meals that it can be overwhelming at times. Becky is recovering well and we will get the final biopsy report next Tuesday.
Hopefully by next week we can be on a schedule resembling something a little more normal. As you might have guessed, I have not been in the office much this week so I have not been keeping up with approving blog post, emails and other daily duties. Please keep us in your prayers.
Next week my Witness buddy and I will be discussing the name of God. We started to talk about that a little this meeting, but he had to leave early to run an errand. In next week’s blog post, I will incorporate this week’s conversation with what we will discuss next week. I have an idea for a study that will rock his Witness world. I hope to be able to have some time to do it this week. I promise, he will not see this coming.