I Love You
I see you looking at my mask with disdain. You think I’m a coward, afraid of getting a virus that is no worse than the flu. One that probably doesn’t even exist, anyway. And if it does, masks sure don’t work. I’m just being a sucker.
I envy you the freedom to believe that way. I’m jealous of your luxury of theory because you’ve known no one who has been struck by COVID, who has died. But I understand that’s the path God has given you.
God has given me a different path.
On this path, I wept as my beloved city sagged under the weight of this disease. Where I sat in the dark parking lot of the ER and wondered if my husband was dying of a simple dislocated hip because he couldn’t get to his hip surgeon. Where every week I pray in thanksgiving for the ER doc who’d been a field medic and was willing to let the surgeon talk her through the relocation over the phone. That’s a gift of gratitude I’ve been given by God that you haven’t, and I understand that, too.
I’m sharing this with you because God has always used those who’ve suffered to warn those who have not. Thankfully, God doesn’t require that each one of us face hardship. We don’t each have to stagger and fall in order to learn the laws of nature. God gives us a voice and love enough to warn all God’s children: this is dangerous.
I do not wear my mask because I’m afraid of COVID. I wear it so you won’t be left lying trembling on your bed in excruciating pain and rabid fear when the EMT says, no. There is no transport. There is no oxygen. There is no ICU. And your fear blossoms, and consumes you.
You think I’m being a sheep, following rather than standing up for my rights.
I am a sheep.
I’m following God.
I bear witness to the danger that faces us all. I muster the courage to use the voice God has given me to warn all of the beloved community. Because I love God, and I love you, who opens my clogged drains and sells my house and fixes my teeth and lives next door and files my taxes and mails my packages and jogs in the park and reads my stories and hands me take-out and walks my sidewalk and cleans my dust bunnies and leads me down the hall to the doctor’s office and teaches my grandchildren and patrols my streets and leaves cookies at my doorstep and waves from a distance, and I love you. God loves you. God wants us to be safe. And I do, too.