I am an evangelical Christian. There is not enough space here to explain how the media — “the left” and “the right” — have greatly muddled what that means, but I am an evangelical Christian who, because God first loved me, I love Jesus.
I am also the grateful recipient of two doses of the Moderna vaccine. I can best explain why I chose to get vaccinated by telling you a little bit about the book by Olive Ann Burns’, “Cold Sassy Tree,” one of my favorite novels. The protagonist of the novel is a young, 14-year-old, Will Tweedy, who loves and admires his rough and gruff Grandpa Rucker Blakeslee.
One day Will decides to venture out on a railroad trestle high above his fishing creek. He knows better but can’t resist. Even his dog is smart enough not to join him. As might be anticipated, the dog is the first to hear the train coming and barks furiously to try and warn Will, but to no avail. It’s only when Will decides to put his ears to the rails that he hears the train coming. He prays, “God please save me,” and frantically thinks what to do. Finally, in desperation he falls flat between the rails and prays. When the train passes over, Will realizes he is alive and prays, “Thank you Lord, thank you God!”
There is much more to the scene, but it concludes with the people from the train celebrating his survival. When they arrive back in town, word spreads, and Will soon becomes a hero, plied with food and praise. All Will wants is to be with his grandpa, but instead the local Methodist minister shows up.
The Methodist minister declares that Will has been miraculously spared. He declares, “Maybe the Lord’s got special plans for you.” Will feels sick, confused and needs to see grandpa.
When grandpa arrives, and they are finally able to be alone in the kitchen, Will asks, “You think I’m alive tonight cause it was God’s will?” Grandpa replies, “Naw, you livin’ cause you had the good sense to fall down ‘twixt them tracks.” Will wonders, “Maybe God gave me the idea.”
Grandpa replies, “You can believe thet, son, if’n you think it was God’s idea for you to be up on thet there trestle in the first place. What God gave you was a brain. Hit’s His will for you to use it — p’tickler when a train’s comin’.”
I am grateful that God gave the researchers, scientists and doctors brains to miraculously create the vaccine. I am grateful that God gives us all brains to use throughout our lives. For those who hesitate to be vaccinated, I ask that you trust the gift God has already given you. I ask not for me but for my three unvaccinated grandchildren, and all the children and grandchildren who don’t have access to the vaccine yet. God’s will is for us to use our brains.