I’ve told you that we recently adopted two puppies, well, they are dogs now! Bubba weighs about 35lbs and Forrest weighs 23lbs. I, honestly, hope they are full grown. Forrest still likes to be rubbed, in fact, he won’t have it any other way. Bubba, on the other hand, is too independent for that baby stuff. He will accept a head rub, every other day or so, but he doesn’t lie down for belly rubs like Forrest does. Nor does he climb into our lap, like Forrest does, to get all the affection he can get. As July 4 approaches, I am concerned about how they will react to the sounds and lights in the sky. Some of the preliminary fireworks had them hiding in the shrubbery. When I opened the door, I called their names, but they didn’t come. Suddenly Bubba dashed inside panting, his heart racing. I walked outside to see where Forrest was. He was standing in the shrubs against the house terrified and paralyzed with fear. I had to walk over, pick him up and carry him into the house. Debating what to do about the coming increase in fireworks, I thought about a blog from my past regarding fireworks. I went through the archives and found the post from July 8, 2018 titled, No Man Is an Island.
At the time, I thought that quote was Scripture, but it’s not, it’s from Romans 14:7. “For none of us lives for himself alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.” In that post, I wrote about the effects of fireworks on veterans. “In the name of fun, we tend to forget about those who have seen the rocket’s red glare, and heard the bombs bursting in air, first-hand. As we shoot our fireworks, we not only forget about our veterans, but we also neglect to realize they experienced these things for the purpose of our independence and freedom. Although lawful, what last resorts does our fun cause our neighbors to take?”
Here we are, two years later, there are more neighborhood fireworks because most municipalities have canceled their fireworks shows because of the virus. They don’t believe people will adhere to social-distancing guidelines or face mask requests, so they have cancelled the shows to prevent an even more serious outbreak in their area. The facts remain - none of us lives for himself alone and none of us die for ourselves alone. We are interconnected in ways we do not even realize.
The Centers for Disease Control has asked us to wear face masks, saying, “Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.” Governors are pleading with their citizens to wear a face mask. Gov. Henry McMaster of SC said if we don’t wear masks, there will “not only be a toll on life, but also lifestyle, saying many fall traditions may not happen if things don't change. That includes college and high school football.” My son is watching past seasons of college football and it’s torture on me. He pauses the games and calls me to come watch plays - that I saw five years ago! Please wear your face mask.
Corinthians 10:23-24 teaches us, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” Some jurisdictions have made face masks mandatory, but others have not. While you may not be breaking the law by not wearing a mask, it is not helpful and it does not teach children lessons we want them to learn. As adults we have to be the example for our children. We must teach them to love their neighbors and do whatever is in their power to protect them from harm.
Back in March, in fact it was the first Sunday of the closure, I woke up with a fever. After a few minutes of panic, thinking I had Coronavirus, I called the hospital to ask what I should do, they gave me the number to a DHEC line, they gave me a website to go to for a virtual ER visit. I didn’t have enough symptoms to qualify, at that time, for a Covid-19 test. I was told I just had a virus, not the virus of the moment, just a virus - take some Tylenol and get some rest. By Tuesday, quarantined in my bedroom with a persistent fever, I went to urgent care. My Influenza test was negative. A chest x-ray showed I had pneumonia. I am allergic to both Sulfa and Penicillin, so that stumped the doctor. He, seriously, had to resort to Google to know how to treat me. I was prescribed three different antibiotics for 10 days. I was told that I am high risk for Coronavirus for three reasons. I was on 3 strong antibiotics; I may have scarring in my lungs due to pneumonia, and I am hard to treat. I take face masks, seriously.
We were largely shut down in March and April, but now many places have reopened. Many people have largely resumed “normal” activities, but the pandemic is not over. Positive cases and deaths have soared! Breathing is not something we can stop doing, but we can do it safely when we are in public. That means wear a face mask. Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 6:12 “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” These words apply in many different situations. Yes, God’s free-will gives us the right to do whatever we want to do, but all things are not in His will. Risky use of free-will has consequences. As God’s children, we shouldn’t only be concerned with risks to ourselves, but the risks to others. We don’t have to be ruled by face masks, and we don’t want governors and municipal leaders mandating our behavior, so when they ask us to do something that is for the good of everyone, we should humble ourselves and do it.
I don’t want to contract this virus and if I possibly have the virus, I don’t want to share it with others. I prefer to share love and God’s word. Amen.
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Sorry for another long post, I’ll try and make next week’s post brief! :-)
Thanks for reading!