What Do We Do Now?
The headline uses an appropriate metaphor…“Delta Virus Moving Through Southern Oregon Like A Buzzsaw”.
It tells the story we’ve been hearing for two months…that the coronavirus is here and doing great harm both to victims of the disease and those who care for them.
At the same time social media is being used to tell our valley that the hospitals are exaggerating and health care workers are lying.
Protests against mask mandates and vaccines are planned for school board meetings and in front of this hospital.
Many of them will do so under a banner of “faith and freedom”.
As a life long resident of the Rogue Valley, the story says other things without saying them explicitly.
It tells me that as a person who recently had heart surgery that I’m at risk and those I love who can’t be vaccinated are as well.
It tells me that it is inevitable that among the people I love, people I’ve worked with, people I have served and who have served me, people I’ve shared this beautiful place with..will die.
They won’t die as martyrs to some noble historical cause…they will die choking for air because someone convinced them to stand for “faith and freedom”…when a mask or a shot could have, may have, saved them.
This won’t matter after they die…what will matter is that they’re gone.
Some of them will catch the virus in the house of God where the man of God tells them to choose “faith over fear”…creating a binary choice to be for or against God depending on how well you protect yourself against a deadly virus.
No one will rise to tell them that this is a false binary or that the vaccines may well be a gift from God given in mercy.
The dilemma for me is concerning how to think about the protestors and pastors who may lead many to die alone in an overflowing hospital.
I know many of them.
They are not stupid, nor are they inherently evil.
In fact, many of them are the same people who would stop to help if they saw you broken down on the side of the road.
They work hard, pay taxes, give to causes and their church, and fundamentally hold to our most noble ideals.
There are lunatics among them, but lunacy is in season now among all groups.
This is not a crisis of character…but defining the cause of the crisis and solutions to it eludes me.
Wring about this is difficult, because I have no answer to end my thoughts with.
Mandates and forced compliance won’t change hearts… they will amplify resistance, perhaps to violent levels.
What do we do now?
The answer is here, but for once I don’t know how to make my own application.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4–8 NKJV)
God give us wisdom…and may God have mercy on us all.