Pocket Knives, Shots, and Grief

A Case Easter Commemorative Knife Given me by a Dear Friend, David Sapp

Today, I am carrying a very special pocket knife. The knife is a Case Easter Commemorative from five or six years ago. The knife was given to me on Easter Sunday the year it was issued by a very special friend and hunting buddy, David (Sappy) Sapp. Dave and I enjoyed many hours together in the woods hunting, talking, sharing, celebrating God’s creation. We dragged out and processed many deer together. We shared a love of racing and God’s great outdoors. I ministered to Dave when his grandson passed from this life years ago.

This pocket knife has been one of the “Sunday carry” knifes I rotate through each week.

The reason I am carrying it today, a weekday, and carried it yesterday was Dave passed away Monday morning, from Covid-19.

I am carrying this knife both in honor of my friend, and as a way to cope with the sadness and the grief that fills my heart this morning. I find I have a deep, overwhelming sadness as I hear of each new passing. Dave, while being the closest friend I have that has passed from Covid, is one of perhaps a dozen friends, and too many dear friends have CONTRACTED Covid-19.

It is also not lost on me that on Monday morning, I got my annual flu vaccine. I also updated my DPT vaccine. A couple of years ago, I received the two-shot shingles vaccine. When I was a baby, I received a polio vaccine, the small-pox vaccine, the measles vaccine, and the whooping cough vaccine. I don’t know what was in those vaccines either. I do know I haven’t contracted the measles. I haven’t suffered with polio. I haven’t been infected with the shingles, small pox, or whooping cough.

Understand, I have been accused of not being political enough. My counter is that my politic is one of the the Kingdom of God. My politic is informed by the calling to live incarnationally in this world, embodying the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone God gives me the opportunity. As such, I believe out calling is to live our life in love for the good of others. (I will be preaching on this passage on the Sunday before Veteran’s Day.) What I am about to say is driven out of love, out of concern for people I love, and for the congregation I serve, and grief at having lost entirely too many people I love.

Please, for the good of those around you, for the good of the world, and for your own good…get vaccinated against Covid-19. The grief you save may be your own family’s.

Anyway, that is my ponderings for this morning…