Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in The Evening Leader on Monday, May 19
I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t envy our leaders right now in the midst of this shut down. They are getting pressure from all sides on what to do as the next step. Whatever they decide will be scrutinized heavily through 20/20 hindsight. I am not only talking about our national leaders, but I am also talking about Governor DeWine and Mayor McGowen and our city leadership.
Right now, there is no clear line between shutdown and all clear. On one side, there are dangers of infection from COVID-19, but we also can’t ignore the dangers of leaving everyone on lockdown indefinitely. This is something that every man, woman and child has an opinion on and we are not willing to recognize that we don’t have all of the pertinent information. The truth is, no one has all of the pertinent information about how this virus works, what it does, who it effects, and how to treat it. All that we can do is make the best educated guess we can. There is still so much unknown that we have no way to be able to predict what might happen.
At 45 years old with no preexisting conditions, I am in the at risk category, but in the lowest tier. Both of my parents are in an extremely high-risk category and I have seen them once since this ordeal started. I have many saints in my congregation who are at risk from this predatory virus and for that reason, I want it eradicated. On the other hand, I have families who are out of work right now who need to go back in order to support their families. My heart breaks for both and having to weigh the detriment of one group against the benefit of the other is a thankless decision to make because there will always be a group who disagrees.
There is no easy answer here and the only way you could claim that there is an easy answer is because you know that whatever decision you make will never be implemented. You assume no risk because no one is going to live or die or provide for their family based on any decision you make. That makes making decisions really easy. Unfortunately, there is no do over. Whatever is done must be right the first time and the Coronavirus has no respect or mercy for us even though this is the first time we have faced something like this.
If you want to read an article about someone’s opinion about what our leaders should do, Google it, there are endless articles from all sides of the political spectrum. I want to do more for our leaders than just criticize them for doing anything, nothing, or something. I want to invite all of you to actually support our leaders in a real and tangible way. It doesn’t matter what your politics are, the women and men making these decisions take them seriously and this isn’t a time for politics. This is a time for the people of our nation to recognize the two most controversial words in our Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. There are a lot of great words in the pledge, but those two words are ones we want to remember because He is the only way we are going to come out of the shutdown better than we went in.
I want to challenge the people of St Marys and beyond to pray for our leaders who have to make decisions about what the next steps for our Coronavirus response. Pray for the doctors and experts who are working on vaccines and treatments. Pray for the first responders and the care takers who will support those who struggle with COVID-19.
But when I say pray, let me be clear what I mean. It does no good for all of us to pray “my will be done.” That isn’t what Jesus taught us through the Lord’s Prayer. We are instructed to pray “Thy will” to be done. If we are all praying for God to do what we feel needs to happen, then our prayers will not mesh with other people who may feel something different. But if we are joining our collective voices to pray for Thy will, suddenly we actually become “one nation under God.” We need that no more than ever.