I’ve been thinking about my go-to emotion. If some stranger were to yell at me, you know purely hypothetically, I would not cry or act hurt. I am much more likely to turn as mean as a snake and tear their head off verbally. Anger is my go-to emotion. About a week ago something happened that I don’t think has ever happened in my life. I woke up from what seemed a peaceful slumber as mad a hornet.
I’m not mad about the fact that we could all die. That was already a certainty. I’m mad about society’s reaction to it all. I feel disappointed that there are not many brave voices. The best piece I’ve read this week is this letter written by the president of Wake Forest. It is a wonderful letter and worth your time, but in it he says, “Every precaution needs to be taken.” And of course that’s just not true. I am desperate for some societal influencer to call a spade a spade. We never take every precaution. If we did, we’d always show up at the airport in hazmat suits, but I don’t know how we’d get there because if we took every precaution we’d ban automobiles. If we took every precaution we’d never have playdates or preschool, because as many as 600 children die of the flu every year.
The public shaming and condemnation of people willing to speak truth has wreaked havoc on our ability to thoughtfully engage about important topics. I have not heard one person point out that a century ago ventilators, even the “iron lung” model, did not yet exist. But in 2020 we have even the wisest among us say things like we need to take every precaution. With that logic, we need to have the capacity to intubate every American, and we need to irrevocably trash our economy to ensure we die of something other than COVID-19. And this is the course we are taking without meaningful debate. In fact, we simply cannot have meaningful debate because people are too afraid of being accused of being heartless. Once you pretend that we take every precaution, then there is nothing we will not do to save a single life.
The best antidote to my anger for almost thirty years is Will Jackson. He is steady as a rock, so intellectually thoughtful, and hilariously funny. He tempers all my frustrations with reasoned analysis and every single day he prays for me and makes me laugh. He’s been at the hospital every single day, working tireless hours, preparing for the worst, and he still exudes peace. We have almost three decades worth of inside jokes, and we are skilled at applying them to any situation that arises. Laughing with him is medicine for my soul. God was so so so good to give him to me. Prayers for his protection are greatly appreciated. I wish the world had a lot more like him. His courage, sacrifice and sense of duty are awe-inspiring. I so love that man.
This morning Will texted me a quote from My Utmost for His Highest:
The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting…[Abraham’s was the kind of faith] that has been tried and proved and has stood the test…a tried faith built on a real God. Abraham believed God.Oswald Chambers
Do you have a tried faith built on a real God? Are you, by God’s grace, walking and not fainting? I am praying this morning that the Christ-followers across the world will believe God. I’ve thought that my tombstone, should I have one, would say, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” But maybe what would be better is: “Kristie believed God.”
Lord Jesus, please help this to be true. Help me to believe You. Help me to be strong and courageous. Help me to love others and know that you are the only Person who never disappoints. Help me not to feel angry about how disappointing people are. Help me to be ever-mindful instead of how disappointing I am. Thank you for loving me even in my very worst moments. Forgive my unbelief, and may I be salt and light in our fearful world. Amen.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”Psalm 91: 14-15 NIV
May we BELIEVE GOD today and every day, knowing He is with us in times of trouble, and always, even to the end of the age.
P.S. Another antidote for anger (or fear if that’s your go-to emotion) is singing hymns. I do this quite a bit using the website hymnal.net. A favorite of mine is Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross. Highly recommend.