Some days I feel that other people in America, like me, are in a kind of conflictual fog. So many different sounds in the distance asking us to go in different directions. So many excited voices telling us the best paths to take to reach a good place for all in the Pandemic. The good place where everyone is best protected from harm or death. As Americans, we are all on the same boat. But, due to the Constitution, we each hold separate oars. Separate voices. Separate choices to make in a country that allows us to be free, to express our opinions and our political beliefs.
Amidst the fog of conflicting expressions of right and wrong. Black and white. Liberal and conservative. Steadfast advocates for democracy and fears of socialism. Those who trust science and those who believe vaccinations are conspiratorial plots, hidden Orwellian threats to humanity. Those who plead with everyone to do their part to care for others by just wearing masks, washing their hands, and socially distancing. Others with loud voices saying they have freedom of expression and speech. They do not have to wear masks regardless of their impact on others. Preservation of their individual freedoms is far better than the greater good doctors and epidemiologists proclaim. Those who say that COVID 19 is real, deadly, and harmful after 600,000 persons have died thus far in the world. Others, who with equal fervor, saying with confidence that the Pandemic is just a hoax.
As I was praying to God this week to reconcile the conflict and anger within me towards others with whom I disagree I read the following quote by Klaus Stohr, a hero in the successful fight against SARS:
“It’s not the vaccine that’s going to end the pandemic. The virus will end this pandemic by burning every piece of dry wood it will find”
These words sound as though there is nothing we can do at this point to save ourselves from the Coronavirus. It is not comforting to realize the dry wood of which this pioneer is referring is you and me.
It took over 65 years to eradicate polio worldwide even with a vaccine. Even if we have one billion vaccines to immunize others next year, there are 7.5 billion people on Earth. Mr. Stohr said that until vaccines for COVID are proven and administered throughout America and the world, he believes we should do all we can to prevent and reduce the spread of a virulent fire. A fire that will continue to burn and extinguish the lives of people we love. People who can reclaim in the near future the right to die in the presence of those they love. FaceTime in ICU is no substitute for embracing the last breath of a loved one. Holding hands. Hugging. Saying goodbye in the physical.
God, in prayer please help all of us to reconcile the conflict among us and within us as to what we can do and say to save ourselves and one another from the Coronavirus.
God, in prayer please help us find the proper balance in clinging to our individual rights and in administering to and caring for others.
God, please help us to save every piece of dry wood from being needlessly burned in the Pandemic. For in that wood is Your every child. A child who carries within him or her the flame of Your Holy Spirit, abundant worth, and love.
A flame more powerful than any virus.
A light that shows us the pathway to truly care for others and be of proper service to You. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.