May 1, 2020 - Heroes and Heroines

When I woke up this morning, I could not help but think about all of the people who are putting their lives on the line to battle this pandemic, coronavirus. It is no different than a soldier who goes into battle fighting for his country. Our heroes and heroines are doing the same thing today and everyday as they fight an invisible enemy, covid-19. These people are going into battle everyday putting their lives on the line knowing that it could be their last day.      

Our present day heroes and heroines are not actors, singers, politicians, athletes, etc., but epidemiologists and virologists and others. These are persons who are experts in their fields, but are compassionate, modest, caring, humble and empathetic, but not seeking the limelight.

One of my present day heroes is Professor Sotirios Tsiodras, who was speaking to leaders as they debated the wisdom of lockdowns because of economic costs brought on by covid-19. One of his acquaintances informed him of these words that are some of the most troubling comments made recently, "We are making too much fuss over a bunch of citizens who are elderly and incapacitated by chronic illness."

Professor Tsiodras response was, "The miracle of medical science in 2020 is the extension of high quality life for these people who are our mothers and our fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers. We cannot exist, or have an identity, without them," he said. For those comments, he is one of my heroes. Beware my brothers and sisters who are 70 and older. There are people in high positions who suggest that getting the economy up and running is more important than your life.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a highly respected immunologist who is head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is highly respected and recognized. He has come into the spotlight because he stands shoulders above others basically because he communicates to everyone transparently and he gives practical advice. Even when castigated, criticized and ignored, he stands on integrity and principle.

Muriel Bowser and Governor Larry Hogan have stood firm on what is best for the people of Washington, DC and Maryland. Both are willing to do whatever it takes, even going against the beliefs of the president, to ensure that covid-19 is under control before they place the lives of their constituents at risk.

We know that there are many other mayors, governors and leaders that are giving their all to provide effective leadership during this crisis. However, there are so many others who are our heroes and heroines, such as: Health care workers, grocery store workers, farmers, truckers, transit workers, postal workers, immigrant workers, sanitation workers, and so many others. Too many to name, but not overlooked or forgotten.  

I share this anonymous writing with you this morning with some minor modifications titled, "It isn't enough."

"It isn't enough to say in our hearts that we like a man or woman for their ways, it isn't enough that we fill our minds with paeans of silent praise; nor is it enough that we honor a man or woman as our confidence upward mounts, it's going right up to the man or woman and telling him or her, and telling them that they count! If a man or woman does a work you really admire, don't leave a kind word unsaid, in fear to do so might make him or her vain and cause them to lose their heads. But reach out your hand and tell them, "Well done," and see how their gratitude swells; It isn't the flowers we strew on the grave, it's the word to the living that tells."                       

Take time today to let someone know you think well of him or her. We have members right at Grace that are doing wonderful things every day sacrificing their lives and are serving on the front lines. I am sure they would love to hear from you. I will send out an email today seeking names of every person who is considered essential or on the front lines. Essential in my opinion also means, you are providing a service to a person or persons who otherwise would not be able to sustain. Write a letter or call someone today and let them know you appreciate all that they are doing to get us through covid-19. That person may be someone like Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Muriel Bowser, etc. They may never read your letter, but someone eyes will see it.             

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11                    

Not a sermon, just a thought!

Pastor Robert Earl Slade