A Word of Caution
January 15, 2022
Mr. and Mrs. Iverson’s letter to the editor in last week’s paper was more than a little concerning. First of all, let me say that I have compassion for both of you, and all those who have lost loved ones during the Christmas season. I’m sorry for your loss. I knew Myron too, and truthfully, it is hard for me to understand how people who claim to love him so much would choose to publish his very private health information, and drag his name down, in hopes of pushing a personal view onto others. You’re definitely entitled to your opinions, and I respect people with opinions that differ from my own, but dishonoring someone in his or her death is just never really the right thing to do. I hope you’ll consider that moving forward.
Most importantly, I would like to issue a word of caution to those whose personal beliefs align with Mr. and Mrs. Iverson’s statement: “I believe that the vaccine mandates should be amended to now read, ‘Those that ELECT NOT to get the vaccine should be denied healthcare and lessen the burden on the hospitals, doctors, nurses, EMTs, our National Guard, law enforcement agencies dealing with this pandemic. Most of all the added cost to taxpayers because you want to exercise your right to freedom.”
Be careful about making such broad generalizations. The same, then, could be said for those who are overweight; those who drink alcohol; those who have ever smoked a cigarette; those who do not eat the recommended daily servings of organic fruits and vegetables; those who consume too much sodium; too much sugar; too much fat; those who do not exercise the recommended amount; the list goes on and on. After all, the CDC issues guidelines for all of these things too. Are we all following all of the guidelines? Or are you exercising your right to freedom to choose what you eat, drink, and do?
The government has also made the recommendation that every American switch to driving an electric car. And yet, those of us with an ounce of common sense living up here, know and understand how far we could travel on a battery charge when it’s -40 degrees. So, we exercise our right to freedom.
So, then, if you choose to not listen to the government’s recommendation on the type of car you drive, and you get into a car accident, should you be denied medical care? If you are overweight and you suffer a heart attack, should you be denied medical care? If you develop a liver or kidney disease and you have drunk alcohol in your past, should you be denied medical care? So, if you subscribe to that theory, certainly someone who is brought into the hospital for a drug overdose should be denied medical care, correct?
Instead, we could dig deep, and act out of human decency. Someone loves that person addicted to drugs. The alcoholic is someone’s child. The person who loves to eat, or simply struggles with his or her weight is just a human being like the rest of us, doing his best to make it in a hard world. I can’t help but wonder how you would have felt if the hospital had actually refused medical treatment for the brother-in-law who you say was so dear to you.
Above all, God loves them. He loves those who are making poor choices every bit as much as those who are making wise ones. He loves those who have sincerely prayed about their decision to take the Covid shot or not every bit as much as those who didn’t pray about it at all. He loves us all–vaccinated or unvaccinated–completely, and equally. God actually didn’t help those who helped themselves–God helped all of us–equal sinners–by sending His Son Jesus to die for our sins. “While we were yet sinners (and HELPLESS!),Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“God helps those who help themselves” is actually a quote made famous by Benjamin Franklin. It is, incidentally, not Biblical, for those who are confused. I would remind you of another famous quote by Benjamin Franklin: “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
The last three years have been hard on all of us. Let’s remember what unites all of us–our humanity. Instead of spending our time deciding what someone else should be doing, let’s take a look at the planks in our own eyes, and work to be better. Let’s try to control our emotions and feelings, and our anger and frustration, and instead, pair love with truth. Let’s try to focus on the things we know that are facts (which is not all that much right now!) Let’s try to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that even the people with whom you disagree are just trying to do their best in a difficult world. Most importantly, let’s show the world a little more Jesus, and a little less of ourselves!