Some of you have read this blog for more than thirteen years. I am so grateful for you. What a privilege to know you’d be interested in what I might have to say after all these years. A million thank yous. It means so much. Last week I decided to try and print the whole blog — it’s quite the file. Fortunately I found a website that produces blogs almost like a yearbook. They do all the formatting and grunt work. On Wednesday the four volume edition, almost 1000 pages, arrived. How it arrived so quickly I do not understand! I’m pretty sure the company is in England. But I am thrilled with it. It represents years and years of memories, and years of years of lessons God has lovingly and gently taught me. I hope one day my grandkids will flip through it and laugh about stories of their dads. My prayer is that somehow it’ll Spur them to know Jesus even after I’m gone.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about something kind of random this week: Why do people wear seat belts? Why do you? My dad was a mechanical engineer who worked mostly for Ford Motor Company. His specialty was safety. He had many inventions and patents. He actually designed an alternative restraint to the air bag, which as you may know, in rare cases, can cause injuries as it protects. As his daughter — a person who aims to be logical and data-based — I do not wear a seatbelt because it’s the law. If I thought it was perfunctory nonsense, I’d just pay the fine. But it’s not perfunctory nonsense. The data is clear: seatbelts save lives.
I don’t think any of the ubiquitous analogies to seatbelts actually work. The historical data regarding masks is consistent, as is how coronaviruses become endemic and benign. Yet somehow dramatic departures from what we once knew are both hysterical and emphatic. I saw a clip of Dr. Fauci from 2019. He chuckled dismissively about mask use. In fact, “experts” used to agree that using a piece of cloth to stop an airborne virus would be patently absurd. So what happened? We 1980’s aerosol canned it. Using canned hairspray was vital to obtain the rooster hair that was the must-have style of the decade. But someone somewhere — maybe the Fauci of environmental science — said those cans were destroying the ozone layer. Suddenly, using a can of hairspray meant you were a terrible person.
The pandemic has proven to be a breeding ground for new cans of hairspray. A good person does x, y and z. A bad person doesn’t. A good person must shame and blame those who don’t do x, y and z and they must shame and blame daily, even hourly. A really good person never ceases the shaming and the blaming. It has become a religion with many devotees. I get it. People want to feel like a good person, and the religion just happens to require incessantly identifying and condemning the bad. But the sad thing about this religion is it never has produced one iota of joy.
Paradoxically, what does lead to joy is admitting you are a bad person deserving of hell. That’s me. Fortunately, I’m not getting what I deserve because of Jesus. He loves me so much that He paid the price for all my sins. Unlike every other religion, Christianity doesn’t require you to do anything, much less condemn others. Christians can live with peace and joy knowing that what needs doing was done on a cross 2000 years ago. Any good thing I might manage in this life is not aimed at earning anything, but merely exhibiting love and gratitude for my Savior.
This morning I am praying that the shamers and blamers on all sides would stop trying to feel “good.” It’s a futile endeavor. I am praying instead that they’ll see the best thing is to feel loved. And they are so very loved. Jesus loves each and every one of us. The proponents of mandates and those who oppose them are all fully known and fully loved. I hope it brings you joy to rest in that. I hope it fills your heart with enough love to then turn around and love whoever you are tempted to blame and shame.
As Paul wrote may Christ so “dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV
Have a fabulous weekend trusting that He loves you so much it surpasses knowledge.