Vaccines, Justice, Love, and Grace

 We are approaching a year of living in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic here in America, though a year ago the virus still seemed very far away, and I took two flights, one for work and one for a family trip, in February 2020. I haven't flown anywhere since.

We've endured nearly 27 million cases and more than 450,000 deaths in America as of Feb. 3, 2021. We've spent collective millions on masks, sweatpants, and dubious home gym equipment. We've learned to worship via Facebook. 

We've confronted the ill effects of rampant and entrenched racism in America, with nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a police officer here in Minneapolis. We've watched people carrying Confederate flags and wearing anti-Semitic t-shirts storm the U.S. Capitol with guns, ammunition, and riot gear.

Millions of people have lost their jobs. Millions more go to work each day with the omnipresent threat of contracting the virus at work, or facing losing their paychecks. Children, teachers, and family lives have been upended with unpredictable and unsustainable changes in school and activity schedules.

Somehow, we've endured together. There is a gratitude amongst us who have survived. Our wariness and exhaustion lives next to our thankfulness and newfound hope and love. It's never certain which side will win out. We are desperately yearning for hope: for the dream again of summer barbecues and weddings and funerals where we can celebrate safely together, unconsciously hugging and shaking hands and shouting into the air with pure joy, with the blithe awareness that we are spreading only goodwill and not viral death.

It would be odd if we were not tired, prone to occasional outrage or misdirected anger. In the past year or so, it has been easy to find uplifting stories of families and caregivers and even complete strangers going out of their way to help one another, to put pieces back together of shattered lives due to the virus. Just as easy has it been to find stories of unfathomable hatred and unconscious, deadly privilege, which swallows up all it can for itself in its lurching ogre body, unmindful of those whose lives are crushed underneath its stomping, wanton, bejeweled foot.

A cycling instructor to the stars in New York City, 52-year-old Stacey Griffith, recently made the worst kind of news, for a social media post bragging about how she'd manipulated her powerful connections to get an early dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which had only been officially made available to healthcare workers, seniors, and teachers in New York City. 

In just the past week, I've also read and heard stories about wealthy and powerful people who wouldn't otherwise qualify for vaccinations heading to the front of the line: hospital board members, fundraisers and donors, a local woman who was quoted in the Washington Post who had just happened to get a leftover dose. She also just happened to own a horse farm, and her post-vaccination plans included a trip to Malibu, Calif.

The snarky side of me envisioned my own post-vaccination plans, which didn't include a beach trip. Finally, I could enter into the assisted living home and visit my church members there without being worried I would spread the vaccine to them. Finally I could make hospital and home visits to sick, ailing, and suffering people. Finally I might be able to hug my mom and my dad, whose own vaccines I've been trying to schedule for weeks, to no avail.

As a follower of Jesus I have a natural inclination to strive against the worldly order of justice, which skews toward the wealthy and powerful and against the poor and vulnerable. You can lose hours and days this way, counting and tracking all the ways that COVID has revealed vast American inequities, the ones who were once left behind only further left behind -- the ones called most essential whose lives aren't even valued enough for a rise in pay, or priority to receive a vaccine shot so that they can continue to deliver packages, stock shelves, manufacture masks, farm and process food and livestock, and care for children.

These stories are easy to find. But to dwell in them - to stop there - is to indulge only part of the work that God has called me into. I don't think that God finds much value in our toddler cry: "It's not fair!"

After all, none of this is simple; COVID is much more than a morality tale about righteousness. And perhaps those of us who are too concerned about the righteousness of others miss out on where God is calling us to see righteous people right in front of our eyes. Those stories are quieter, less flagrant, but perhaps even more important.

I think of the rural Midwestern pharmacist who, after suffering through COVID due to her work, had a last-minute chance for a leftover vaccine, and instead of taking it, made a quick call to her beloved grandma, who hadn't yet gotten a chance to sign up.

I think of brave Sandra Lindsay, a New York City nurse born in Jamaica, who volunteered to be the very first American to be vaccinated, to counter the horrifying American past of illegal and terrible medical "treatments" and even experiments on Black Americans, many of whom understandably remain wary of medical services suggested to them by the government.

I think of the patient and kind farm couples who I know, who have remained gracious and hopeful each step of this year: learning to ZOOM for Thanksgiving with their families, bundling up and donning mittens and snowpants for Christmas Eve outdoors in below-0 weather, who patiently waited for their vaccine and gave thanks when their number was finally called this week.

I think of the myriad of opinions held by good and kind people about the vaccine, and I give thanks for my dear friends, two in particular, a local rural doctor and a college friend who works as an ICU nurse in Northern California, who diligently and respectfully share medical information with me so that I can sort through all the different opinions and ideas to make a well-informed and responsible decision - and share that medical information with my loved ones, so that they can be confident as they await their own turn for the vaccine.

Another person I know who has been working in the COVID medical field this whole time, who underwent COVID herself due to her work, told me the other day that she understood the high emotions and anger she and her colleagues continue to face, from all viewpoints and walks of life.

She said people felt like there was finally a shot of hope. And they were desperate for it not to pass them by.

Hearing her words, as I begun my day again looking up possible ways to help schedule my parents and other loved ones for their vaccine appointments, I'm reminded that the real "shot of hope," is not in a Moderna or Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson or Astra Zeneca vial, as vital and important and miraculous as that shot is.

I'm reminded that our best hope instead lies inside one another, and the trust that the Holy Spirit dwells in each one of us, so that when we look at one another we see not a competitor for our chance but instead a co-conspirator in a richer life for us both, marked by love and by grace.

I'm reminded that I can rage alone against the Stacey Griffiths of the world, inanely posting their privilege, vapidly unaware of their own entitlement and what it does to everyone else, or instead I can look away from that and into the eyes of my fellow Americans, knowing that a rising tide lifts all boats, and true justice is only found when we work for it together, rooted in love and grace. 

Comments

  1. I am here to give my testimony about Dr Ose  who helped me in my life, i want to inform the public how i was cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) by dr Ose spiritual, i visited different hospital but they gave me list of drugs like Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex which is very expensive to treat the symptoms and never cured me. I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy on HERPES and i saw comment of people talking about how dr Ose spiritual cured them. when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, my HERPES result came out negative. I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true just contact him and get cure from dr Ose spirirtual healing spell cure of all kinds of sickness you may have. penis enlargement
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To know more about Chief Dr Lucky you can visit his website (https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/)
       
       A friend that suffered from Herpes and was cure with the help of this great herbal doctor Chief Lucky so i decided to contact him for help in getting rid of my families genital herpes virus 1/2 which i did and all i was told to provide was just some useful information and some materials used in preparation of the natural cure and that i did and now i am the happiest person on earth because i am writing this testimony of mine with joy and happiness in my heart to the whole world to know that natural remedy is real because i am a living testimony of Chief Lucky traditional herbal cure and i want you all to contact Chief Lucky via his email: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2348132777335 am sure he will help you too.

      Delete
    2. months ago I felt some pains and I went to the hospital my doc told me I had Herpes about 1 year ago and I need to start the treatment early, he gave me some medicine to be taking and I told him no I’ll not, because I hated taking medicine when I won’t not see cure for the purpose. After I got home I started getting worried searching for strong advice and I found valid natural treatment online a lot of people says they got herpes cure from Dr Edidia and I contacted Dr Edidia that same day I purchase his cure online, after 2 weeks of taking the herbal treatment i got cured totally. i tested negative all thank to Dr Edidia you can reach out to him through his email: [dredidiaherbalhome@gmail.com ] or message him on WhatsApp +2349126592869 stay safe and bless you.
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  2. Am here to testify what this great spell caster done for me. i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my wife have been having a lot of problem living together, she will always not make me happy because she have fallen in love with another man outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my wife leave this woman but the more i talk to her the more she makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because she no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my wife again. this spell caster who was a man told me that my wife is really under a great spell that she have been charm by some magic, so he told me that he was going to make all things normal back. he did the spell on my wife and after 5 days my wife changed completely she even apologize with the way she treated me that she was not her self, i really thank this man his name is Dr ose he have bring back my wife back to me i want you all to contact him who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem he will solve it for you. his email is oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com  he is a man and his  great. wish you good time.
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    ReplyDelete
  3. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit his website https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.  
    WhatsApp number : +2348132777335 
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Thank you all for reading,
    God bless"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, is a true life experience is not designed to convince you its a personal health experience, sometimes medical doctors take a different approach about herpes treatment. i has been stocked in bondage with herpes for two years and four months i has tried different means to eliminate this sickness because it surely has distract me even with the world, and i was told there is no cure, but only medicine for treatment all the possible ways i has tried was treatment, two months back i did some herpes research and i found amazing testimonies concerning natural herbal cure, and i go for it through the email address from the post just to give a try of herbal treatment, and i found it grate without delay i got cured with natural treatment from doc Twaha herbal cure his cure are powerful and shows out excellent result. and i think everyone suffering with herpes and others symptoms should also know about this cure from, drlregbeyen10000@gmail.com or WhatsApp him +2349038518881 thank you

    ReplyDelete
  5. Powerful Herbal treatment is 100% guarantee for HSV cure, the reason why most people are finding it difficult to cure HSV 1 or 2 is because they believe on medical report, drugs and medical treatments which is not helpful to cure HSV and hasn't proved any sign of helping. Natural roots/herbs are the best remedy which can easily eradicate herpes forever. I never believed it until I was helped and cured of my 16 months genital herpes with natural herbal medicines from Dr OGU Patrick. Where other medical prescribed drugs and treatments failed, Natural herbs helped saved me from Genital herpes permanently and i am so grateful for this. You can also get help from this great and powerful herbs can also contact Dr OGU Patrick through via this email: drogugusolutionhome@gmail.com , Text or call him via : +1 719 629 0982

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had my first outbreak of Herpes virus nearly 4 years ago. Of all the horridness, the pain and itching were unbearable. I literally freaked out as my general physician said that it had no cure. The outbreaks were not that frequent initially, but every time I fall sick, it would resurface. I had so many sores this year that I was desperate to try anything to get rid of them. Three months ago a friend suggested that I try Dr OBUDU remedy that's helping people get cured from HSV, COUGHING, HIV&AIDS, GENITAL HERPES, SNEEZING, HEPATITIS B, CANCER e.t.c. I quickly ordered the product and started using the remedies. I'm so relieved to say that I've not had even one outbreak for a whole month now. Moreover, I'm feeling great from within. I truly endorse this herbal product Dr OBUDU rendered to me. So if you are suffering from any deadly disease you can also contact this great man on his email: drobuduherbalhome@gmail.com call/WhatsApp:+2349023428871  here is his website: https://drobuduherbalhome.wixsite.com/welcometoobuduherbal ...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks to Doctor Razor for the Great miraculous work he did in my life with his herbal remedy. I have been living with this virus and I have shared with my partners my situation because they deserve to have a choice of whether they want to change being with me or not. I unfortunately did not have a choice in this matter leaving me vulnerable and now faced with this virus for the rest of my life or until a cure was discovered.I refused to take the Medical drugs my PCD had told me to take, I surrendered to my fate, because I was careless. On Aug 23, 2020, I came across Doctor Razor herbal medicine. I browsed about the authenticity of This Doctor, I got to see several Testimonies regarding his works from people he had helped with his medicine. I reached out to him and told him my problems, after we spoke he promised to help me out. I started using his herbal medicine which he sent to me Via the Courier Delivery, and asked me to take the herbal medicine for 18 days. which i did. I am delighted to let you all know that I Got cured of Herpes Virus, after the Medical Doctor had confirmed this with the test results, when I went for a medical check up after completing the Herbal Dosage Of 18 days. Doctor Razor's Website : https://herbalistrazorherb.wixsite.com/drrazorherbalhome or Reach out to Doctor razor via email : drrazorherbalhome@gmail.com WhatsApp +2349065420442

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
    liver already present. I started on antiviral medications which
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    became resistant. I started on HEPATITIS B Herbal treatment from
    ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC (www.ultimatelifeclinic.com) in March, 2020. Their
    treatment totally reversed the virus. I did another blood test after
    the 6 months long treatment and tested negative to the virus. Amazing
    treatment! This treatment is a breakthrough for all HBV carriers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Natural herbs have cured so many illness that drugs and injection cant

    cure. I've seen the great importance of natural herbs and the wonderful

    work they have done in people's lives. i read people's testimonies online

    on how they were cured of herpes, hiv, diabetics etc by Dr LUCKY

    herbal medicine, so i decided to contact the doctor because i know nature

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    years but Dr LUCKY cured me with his herbs and i referred my aunt and her

    husband to him immediately because they were both suffering from herpes and

    they were cured too .I know is hard to believe but am a living testimony.

    There is no harm trying herbs. He is also a spell caster, he cast spells to

    restore broken marriages and a good luck spells to prosper and excel in

    life. Contact Dr LUCKY on:herbalcure09@gmail.com Phone/Whatsap no: +1-217-

    310-6945

    ReplyDelete
  10. I first doubted It was not true but decided to try, when I contacted this herbal physician via his e-mail, I purchased herpes herbal medicine and received it within 7 days and used it as prescribed, I tested negative within 3 weeks use, do not loose hope to contact him early If you need help, you can contact him on email dr.chalaherbalhome@gmail.com or you can visit his website on http://drchalaherbalhome.godaddysites.com or https://mywa.link/dr.chalaherbalhome am convinced he can help you too

    ReplyDelete
  11. Natural herbs medication today may Sound like an alternative healing, but only fee people really knows and understand that fact that Doctor Madiba provides the best natural herbs medication that cures herpes virus totally, it's true that Doctor Madiba actually cured me from hsv2 and I'll like to be sincere to you that his medication works great with perfect results, my test proves that I have been free from herpes virus, just with two bottles of his medication and Instructions to use, Contact him today VIA WhatsApp: +27815597060 or email: doctormadibalherbalremedy@gmail.com Thank You follow Dr Madiba herbal page: https://www.facebook.com/doctormadiba/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Everyone out there,I am here to give my testimony about a Herbalist doctor who helped me . I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS in 2016, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me telling me why am I so sad and i open up all to her telling her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mail him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS that was in my body got vanished . so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him at drgodwinsolutionhome@gmail.com or whatsapp him number: +2348054615060 Contact him today

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks to the great Dr Ehimare herbalist doctor that has cured many people of HPV DISEASE today i am here to testify on his wonders on my life. for changing my life for the better after all the frustration of getting cured finally i got introduce to DR.Ehimare for which i believe has a cured after reading all his testimonies. after writing to him. he responded quick to me that i will be cured for my HPV DISEASE once i am able to receive his herbal medicine. afterwards he prepared my herbal cure and sent to me and when i did received it and used it. i was surprised that there was changes going on in my body. behold after using the medicine for the days he assured me that i should go and test myself. and getting there i was found HPV negative, and even the doctor was surprise and told me this can only be a miracle. i'm completely cured today and that happened by the great herbal remedy. contact DR.Ehimare Now on his email:drehimare3@gmail.com or his WhatsApp Number::+1 (267) 691-1087

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was depressed when the doctor told me that I have been diagnosed with Herpes disease… I thought about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I'm gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was searching the internet and I found Dr.obudu' contact number. +2349023428871 I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I'm cured by Dr.obudu herbal medicine, I'm very thankful to Dr.obudu and very happy with my hubby and family. email him on drobuduherbalhome@gmail.com or you can also reach him through WhatsApp number+2349023428871 also visit hes websitehttps://drobuduherbalhome.wixsite.com/welcometoobuduherbal or visit his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DR-OBUDU-101779795066025/
     He can also cure so many sickness
    {1}HIV And AIDS
    {2}Diabetes
    {3}Epilepsy
    {4}Blood Cancer
    {5}HPV
    {7}ALS
    {8}Hepatitis  

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dr. Ehimare has really made me so much believe in him by getting me cured of Herpes with his herbal medicine. I have been a Herpes virus patient for some time now, I have been running here and there looking for help/cure but none could help. I ran into a testimony by someone who testified how she was cured of a terrible disease by Dr. Ehimare, so I decided to contact the herbal doctor. I explained to him, and he said he can cure me. We started the process and he prepared herbs and sent them to me in my country and gave me directions on how I am to use them. I followed his directions and now To God be the glory he could cure me with his herbal mixture. I really appreciate you Dr. Ehimare for bringing back happiness to my life again. thanks you so much friends that has join me to thank Dr. Ehimare for what he has actually done for me i pray to you all for a good life and property, his contact. Email address drehimare3@gmail.com , via whats-app +1 (267) 691-1087 Thanks Dr. Ehimare for your help in my life and family... and most especially to you Dr. THANKS. 

    ReplyDelete
  16. My health was horrible before I decided to try the Protocol Of taking Dr. Ozala pure herbal mixture. I felt there was no hope for my health and I was to try the Protocol, thinking it wouldn’t work because I have visited so many hospital but same result. However, I was convinced by a Instagram friend to try the herbal medicine because I wanted to get rid of Herpes virus. The herbal mixture that was given to me was really quick and easy to take, within 2 week i was fully cured from Herpes. The herbal medicine really work and I will like to share this great doctor contact with you all email him ozalasolutioncenter@gmail.com or WhatsApp +2348156857280
    Website: https://drozalaherbalcure.business.site/
    you won't regret it, i promise you.

    ReplyDelete

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