Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

March 10, 2019: A Place of Justice and Grace

By Fraser Macnaughton

 

In normal society one would perhaps expect that care homes for the elderly would be model places of “justice and grace.” The UK has a world-class national health service, full of the most fantastic doctors, nurses, and support staff. It is a testament to the NHS that, for decades, life expectancy has increased across the country. With increasing life expectancy, however, there is also a growth in degenerative diseases such as dementia. Many families are increasingly reliant on extra care facilities and nursing homes to manage the healthcare needs of their elderly and vulnerable relatives. While the majority of those working in the care sector are wonderful people, there are, as a Member of Parliament has found out, some who are not. Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan said her father, who has dementia, suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries while staying at an extra care facility last year. Dr. Allin-Khan who also works as a trauma doctor, said that her father was so traumatized that he took to sleeping in the communal area rather than in his own room.

 

Despite good reports from the Care Commission for the facility, the local council and the private company contracted to run the facility failed to provide an adequate explanation for the situation. The MP claimed that the director of adult social services at the local council refused to look at photos of her father’s injuries and declared the dementia sufferer had sustained them because he “had asked for it.”

 

Acknowledging her own distress that she, an educated and respected doctor and MP, had to go through, she said, “I fear deeply for the elderly in our community. We must give our vulnerable a fair chance at ageing safely and gracefully and their voices must be heard.”

 

Her father has since been moved to another care facility.

 

Explore…Deuteronomy 26:1–11

  • In what ways can we inform ourselves of situations where justice and grace are missing?
  • Can you think of other vulnerable groups in society who would relish places of justice and grace?
  • What models of justice and grace in faith communities could be replicated into wider society?

 

Prayer…

May we always be mindful to hear the voices of the voiceless, to understand the oppression of the oppressed, the injustice of the wronged, and to seek to bring grace wherever it is needed. Amen.

 

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