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. 


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  8. I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
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  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 or you can visit his website on or am convinced he can help you too

  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: Thank You follow Dr Madiba herbal page:

  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 or whatsapp him number: +2348054615060 Contact him today

  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 or his WhatsApp Number::+1 (267) 691-1087

  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 or you can also reach him through WhatsApp number+2349023428871 also visit hes website or visit his facebook page
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    {1}HIV And AIDS
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  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 , 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. 

  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 or WhatsApp +2348156857280
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