When I first considered writing this post last night, I think it would have come out very differently than it is today. Fueled by anger for others not seeing the same as me, my thoughts were sarcastic and perhaps not as kind as I prefer them to be. I am human, and as I’m quick to share, I’m a continual work in progress. I think, though, sometimes we all forget that. We forget our friends, and even our enemies, are works in progress. People who don’t see things the same as we do, are works in progress. In fact, if you’re a Christian, you are definitely a work in progress, journeying each and every day towards a life that looks more like Jesus. I share all this to say that the words I’m now putting down are transformed by love, considered prayerfully, and in an aim for all of the collective works-in-progress to grow more like Him. In other words, please don’t take it as a personal offense if you posted this graphic.
Last night I saw this graphic shared on Facebook. I don’t know the origin, and I don’t even know if the data or math is correct. I do know what its likely purpose was, and I do know the reaction it hoped to evoke. One, easy look at the capitalized NOT will let you know the idea of this graphic is to promote a frustration over government regulations and restrictions amidst COVID-19. This specific table for my home state of MS promotes the idea that COVID is NOT that dangerous, not likely to infect most people, and it easily flames the fuel of frustration over shutdowns, public school quarantines, and a worsening economy. It supports ideas that masks aren’t needed, sports should continue unhampered, and of course, that the government is trying to control our personal lives, not help us.
A common reaction to a graphic like this might be, “so why in the world are we stopping life for these kinda percentages?!”
Look, I get it. I do. It’s hard to see outside our own little world. Typically we allow a situation to affect us emotionally or on a deeper level only if it affects us personally. For example, if we don’t know anyone with a disease, it might be harder to believe it exists. If we haven’t known someone otherwise healthy who has died from a virus, we might not consider it deadly. If we focus more on how this all is affecting us personally, we might consider our child missing out on Senior year activities of greater value than the death of a stranger’s spouse. This is a sad aspect of human nature, but it does happen. We all fall to it. It’s easy to throw out our leftovers, never considering that some children will go to bed the very same night with empty bellies. Just because we’re overweight doesn’t mean that hunger isn’t a problem for some in this country.
I better get to the point quickly. You guys are gonna fade away. So, do you know what I first noticed when I saw this graphic? The number 2,128. The question is, how will you look at that number? Some people will say that 2,128 people in almost three million isn’t that big of a deal. I think if that’s how you’re responding, you might want to check your heart. How many deaths will it take to mean something? What is the right percentage to make your personal inconvenience worth dealing with?
Imagine if 2,128 bodies were stacked in your back yard. Would it seem like a lot then? What if number 2,127 was your child? Would it have been worth wearing a mask or social distancing then?
As a Christian people we typically support a Pro-Life stance. I know I do! I guess I’m just wondering why Pro-Life only matters to a large majority of Christians when it’s in the womb? Why aren’t we for the life of our neighbors? Or for the life of minorities? Or for the life of immigrants? It almost makes it seem like Pro-Life is more of a political agenda than a way of life like Jesus calls it to be. I mean, Jesus was extremely Pro-Life, but He didn’t draw lines in the sand.
Jesus didn’t say, ‘ love your neighbor, but only if he agrees with you, is the same political party as you, and goes to your church.’ He just said to love them.
I figure a large part of loving our neighbor is caring about what is important to them, not just what’s important to us. It’s about sacrificing personal convenience to show the love of Christ. It’s about serving others and sympathizing with their pain. It’s about seeing that graphic I shared and not ignoring the number 2,128. That’s over two thousand families who lost a loved one. In the Bible Jesus spoke about leaving the flock of 99 to just save the one, but we forget that unless the one happens to be us. Otherwise it’s irrelevant to us.
My plea to the Christian community would be to practice compassion, sympathy, and humility. I would ask you to join me in the stretching process of caring about others more than ourselves, to serve one another in love. Let’s not just look at how a situation negatively affects us, but place ourselves in the shoes of others and attempt to understand their pain. We should be allowing the pain of others to break our hearts like it does God, and consider every situation through a kingdom context. There’s so much more to life than the materialistic and inconvenient nuisances we experience. I’m not saying that real and serious impacts from this pandemic haven’t been experienced, but I would encourage us all to ask ourselves if we’re putting our own life well above that of another. If we want to exercise the opinion that all lives matter, then let’s do just that. Let’s believe that all lives, all 2,128 lives lost prematurely, matter. Let’s do better, guys.
Tony Rice says
Excellent Brie. Thank you for what you do!
Thank you ☺️
Steve Stubbs says
I love your posts, and try to read as many as I can not only because we are like-minded, but because they are ALWAYS thought provoking. So, with that in mind, I have a question about the current pandemic that you might be able to address for me based on your “front-line” experience. I personally could not understand why it was necessary to shut down parks, beaches and gyms. It seems to me that the fittest and strongest amongst us would also be the least likely to suffer from the ill-effects of the virus. Am I wrong?
I think when this first started it was so new with so much unknown that they weren’t sure what was good to close and what wasn’t. I think it comes down to good hygiene, washing hands, and social distancing.
Thank you ?
Try the CDC for info. If you believe in the sovereignty of God it is not up to us to decide what is timely or untimely. I certainly believe in taking wise precautions but God is ultimately my source for all things. I also know it is a whole lot easier to embrace all the shutdowns if you can work from home and your livelihood is not threatened. Many are single parents and don’t have that option . I encourage you to check out the CDC data on how many die from the flu each year.
Michele Stephens says
Hi Brie, you know, I appreciate your genuine concerns and insights on this post. You seem to possess a very compassionate, loving heart and I clearly understand your frustrations and concerns regarding Covid restrictions. Personally, I refer to myself as a Jesus lover, believer etc. because I listen to too many people call themselves Christians when I do not believe they really are. This pandemic has been frustrating to MANY! Trying to make sense of it these last 6 months has been emotionally exhausting for me, so I stopped looking at the charts. They differ widely, state to state, Red to Blue. Some insist the numbers are padded and falsified, while others insist (politically) that even one death caused by Covid is unconscionable.
See where I’m going with this? Christian or Atheist, we are left to define the reality of this virus according to each of our personal circumstances.
My husband is a commercial contractor. Our Blue state Governor declared highway work ‘essential.’ We consider ourselves deeply blessed. When you asked the question, ‘Why do Christians only care about life inside the womb?, but then suggested they don’t care about their neighbors, minorities or immigrants I took deep offense to it. Many livelihoods have been shaken to their core. Tens of thousands or more people are being forced by government to depend on unemployment and gov’t benefits to survive right now. For many, this dependency is NOT ok! Americans care deeply for their neighbors. As a nation, we are also keenly aware of the plight many minorities find themselves in. Sorry to throw 2 Thessalonians in your face, but right now, it’s relevant to our discussion. Many people who want to continue work, can’t! In the inner-cities, where minorities usually reside, they can’t work or won’t work due to reasons that are expressly different from the ones being mandated by gov’t leaders at this time. And, as for immigration? it’s a huge bubble waiting to pop!.Our government is over 26 trillion dollars in debt now. How much MORE money that we don’t have in the US should we print to make room for the millions of immigrants who want in? Loaded question!!!
Most of the unfortunate deaths from Covid have happened with our elderly. My mother resides in an AFH where strict precautions have been followed to protect her and the other residents there. I have both a son and niece who work in medicine where, they both have had to operate on Covid-positive patients. I don’t want anyone to die from this disease any MORE than you do.
I have come to the realization though that this country and others, MUST develop a balance between protecting those most at risk and putting the majority of workers back to work. Whether you agree or not, there are political factions at work doing their best to destabilize our economy. That’s not ok! Money doesn’t grow on fruit trees and I have yet to see it trickle down like manna from heaven. There are risks to be confronted in finding this balance and as a nation we need to accept them as a means to move forward.
(I don’t say this lightly).
In the meantime, those of us who believe Jesus is our savior need to rely on Him to cover us and our loved ones with His armor of protection daily and, then, go about living our lives responsibly.