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
    Remember delay in treatment leads to death email him @ {oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com} whatsapp  +234813 648 2342 
    https://www.facebook.com/Dr-odion-spell-temple-110513923938220/ 

    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. 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.
    He cast spells for different purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dream
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) HIV/AIDS CURE
    (10) is the only answer to that your problem of winning the lottery

    Contact him today on oseremenspelltemple@gmail.com or whatsapp him on +2348136482342.  https://www.facebook.com/Dr-odion-spell-temple-110513923938220/  

    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

Post a Comment

Popular Posts