A mother switched off the light and said goodnight, but her daughter broke into tears, sobbing “Don’t leave me, Mommy!” The mother tried to reassure her daughter: “There’s nothing to be afraid of in the darkness, for God is with you!” The girl paused for a moment and replied, "Yes, but I need someone with skin on!”
In our neighborhood, there are quite a number of young families and children. And when a car goes racing down the street I often say to Alice, "They must have to go to the bathroom." I try and give the driver the benefit of the doubt as I can't imagine anyone risking harm to a pedestrian or other driver just for a need for speed or sheer impatience.
All of which brings me to the whole vaccination and mask-wearing issue. Why is it an issue? If we love our neighbor (didn't someone once command us to do that), how could we knowingly jeopardize them when a jab or a piece of cloth could mean the difference between life and sickness or even death?
How did the health of our nation and world become muddied in a false debate about freedom vs. bodily autonomy, government vs. overreach, safety vs. the economy? Why is there so much mistrust of one another in the name of politics or party loyalty?
I don't think there's a more persuasive argument than the one I heard recently from a doctor who compares anti-vaxxers to individuals who are allowed to drink as much alcohol as they want at home and not risk arrest; however, the moment they get behind the wheel of a car they are committing a crime (and a sin in Catholic moral theology) by willfully endangering themselves and others through the possibility of vehicular manslaughter.
An upset man approached the holy Rabbi Ba’al Shem Tov pleading, “My son is estranged from God; what shall I do?” The rabbi replied simply, “Love him more.”
Back to me... Okay. I'll try. As I've said in these blogs before: the way forward is usually very simple but rarely easy.
In the meantime, folks: get a vaccine if you haven't already; mask up if you care about those who are vulnerable; and join me in trying to have the skin of God and the wisdom of an old rabbi.