“What is truth?”
It’s the question that Pilate asked of Jesus. It also seems to be the question on everyone’s minds today. Having arrived at the Information Age many years ago, we have somehow managed to clog up its superhighway with more and more disinformation, turning even the most knowable truth into frustrating confusion.
At GraceMed, the frustration has been growing exponentially lately. After 7 months of reaching out to the community to offer a vaccine that is absolutely free, safe and effective, the joint efforts of county health officials, community health centers, employers and other organizations have still left about 49% of Kansas residents unvaccinated. It’s hard to believe that nearly half of the state still has not chosen to get their shots.
And now we head into another school year with new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus beginning to attack our children with a severity we once thought they were resistant to. By now, most of us were expecting to have rendered the virus relatively insignificant as a public health threat. But we were also expecting that herd immunity would be largely achieved by now, too.
Who could have imagined that streams of fantastic tales casting the virus as dangerous and the government as conspiratorial would actually be accepted as true by so many who were eager to believe them? Or that those beliefs would be so adamantly clung to, even to the point that 99% of new cases now come from the unvaccinated exclusively?
It’s not lost on anyone by now that a virus has been made into a political football. But for healthcare providers who serve as an expression of our faith, this “us vs. them” mania has been especially hard to comprehend. We care for our patients each day believing that a loving God has called us and gifted us to do so. The teams we have organized to stand in the rain and give tests, then travel all over Wichita to bring vaccinations to employees, church members and neighborhoods were all about holding the life we are all given as precious beyond measure, beyond argument or dispute.
Yet, as of this writing, more than 800 Sedgwick County residents have died from COVID-19; more than 5,400 statewide. All from an entirely preventable condition.
If Jesus gave an answer to Pilate’s question, the scripture doesn’t record it. Then again, maybe it does. There is a sense in which the whole Gospel, and maybe the Bible itself, could have begun with that question and everything that proceeds thereafter could serve as the answer. I hope I’m not being too presumptuous to assert that this is at least one way to express that answer: God is found in the love we share with each other. With every act of kindness, trust and forgiveness, we free each other to live even more fully in the light of His presence and enduring love.
Seen in that light, it’s not hard to discern the truth about a virus that takes life and a vaccine that preserves it.
CEO, GraceMed Health Clinic, Inc.
This post originated in our State of Grace quarterly news magazine. If you would like to receive the magazine, please visit this link and give us your information. Thanks!