The Heart Of Virginia Free Clinic At Third And Main Would Be 'Holy' Appropriate

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The ministry of Jesus was so filled, from the very beginning, with healing. In the book of Matthew, directly after enlisting his first few disciples while walking beside the Sea Galilee, Jesus traveled throughout the Galilee region teaching, preaching “and curing whatever illness or infirmity there was among the people. His fame reached the whole of Syria; and sufferers from every kind of illness, racked with pain, possessed by devils, epileptic, or paralyzed, were all brought to him, and he cured them.”

That two ministers were the voices in Friday's front page story in this newspaper about the prospects for the Heart of Virginia Free Clinic, Inc. to locate in the Daily Grind building was, and is, wholly appropriate.

And holy appropriate.

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There could be no more visible location in Farmville than the intersection of Third and Main Streets in this, our own Galilee region in terms of ministering to this community's people.

The Heart of Virginia Free Clinic would serve individuals ages 19 through 64 who are working, or between jobs, and without medical insurance.

What a wonderful opportunity for all of those who railed and rallied against President Obama's health care reform to prove their faith in something other than government mandates-their own human hearts, perhaps-by rallying behind this project if it does indeed proceed in the former home of The Daily Grind. A wonderful opportunity, in fact, for us all, regardless of our feelings on government health care.

Jesus is the best role model, of course, in how we should respond to the needs of others and those two ministerial voices in Friday's front page story-Sylvia Meadows of Farmville United Methodist Church and Frank Potter of New Life Assembly of God Church-were reflective of their faith. Rev. Meadows was speaking in her capacity as president of the Heart of Virginia Free Clinic Inc. Rev. Potter from the viewpoint of his church's outreach through The Daily Grind space, which generated funding for various ministry projects, and his hopes for the space to continue ministry to the community.

“I think, as far as ministry to the community, it'll be better if…we really did have the free clinic and…we have the Angel Food ministry out of there,” Rev. Potter said. “…As far as community ministry is concerned, it's probably going to be better than having a coffee house. I think the coffee house would've introduced the community service idea, but the other ministries that may come in there will have a whole lot more impact on the community than we did through the coffee house. So, even though you're saying good-bye to one thing, there's a good chance that what's coming in will be even better. So I keep that in mind too.”

A free clinic to provide medical care for hardworking people who've fallen on hard times during the roughest economy since The Great Depression would be an answer to their prayers. A miracle made manifest through this community's own outreaching arms.

Rev. Meadows said, “We're called to work together as a family, as the Body of Christ. And I think that…for most of us it is a call from God…To reach out to the greatest needs in one's community is the purpose and mission of the Church…What's driving us is that we believe that it's what God would have us do.”

Keep on being driven.

Keep on believing.

The Heart of Virginia Free Clinic Inc. is currently conducting a needs assessment and seeking advice and guidance from other free clinics, along with the Volunteers in Medicine Group, an organization ripe with experience in establishing clinics in the US. There is no doubt the need exists but hard data is being collected to demonstrate that need to the community so that support would not find one hand tied behind the back of any lingering doubts.

Support should be wholehearted in a community that bills itself as the Heart of Virginia.

In this case, that phrase transcends geography, unless it be the geography of the human heart.

Topography that Jesus knew only too well.

Let us follow in those footsteps and the beating of that heart.