One of British pop band Pulp’s biggest hits, “Help the Aged”, contains the lines, “Help the aged, ‘cos one day you’ll be older too, you might need someone who can pull you through”. Those words eerily played out in my head as I researched how the federal government’s proposed cuts to aged care health services (page 6) will have devastating consequences for some of society’s most frail and vulnerable people.
This issue is a stark reminder that most of us won’t escape the advances of old age and one day we might need younger people to pull us through difficult times if the current trajectory of ruthless cost-cutting by governments continues to weaken the provision of key health services. If we would expect a level of compassion and empathy in our old age, have we done enough for our older generation as they face financial, physical and mental hardship?
Romans 15:1 reminds us that, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” and it is a shameful and frankly un-Christianly act to jeopardise the vital health care needs of older people who have provided so much for this society.
With the generous perks and entitlements the political elite bestow upon themselves year-on-year, reducing aged care services for wound care and physiotherapy speaks volumes about the rhetoric-versus-reality of “responsible economic management” espoused by the people’s representatives.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Ashley Thompson hears the personal stories (page 9) of women facing complex and difficult decisions about pregnancy. The Queensland Synod’s submission to the state abortion law reform inquiry was a trigger for Journey to talk about a topic rarely spoken about with balance. Abortion is a topic fraught with emotional, spiritual, political and ethical considerations, but the difficult, sometimes harrowing dimensions of each woman’s account should give pause for reflection and prayer, no matter where you stand on the issue.
Last but not least, John Harrison visits Rev Craig Mischewski (page 12) in North Queensland to learn about Craig’s faith journey from a remote cattle camp in the Northern Territory to ministry in communities such as Weipa and Aurukun, and the challenges with serving Mapoon, a community keen to rebuild the church after it was pulled down by the state government in 1964.