Pastor’s Corner: First Principles

August 18, 2021

Let’s go back to first principles: compassion, care, and community.

The continuing climb of COVID-19 infections and the straining health care system have raised plenty of concern and even more anxiety. The sparks of recrimination are flying, kindling into anger. Medical workers from physicians to nursing assistants have written powerfully about the rage they feel when treating COVID patients who had refused to be vaccinated.

Dr. Brytney Cobia, a physician in Birmingham, Alabama, wrote publicly on Facebook, “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late. A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same. They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know.”

In those few words, Dr. Cobia has demonstrated those first principles. She brought her compassion to her patients despite her frustration and anger. She cared for them and, as their lives ended, cared for their families. In encouraging them to get vaccinated as well, she builds up the resilience of the community.

Friends, the temptation of this time is to blame and shame – that old, old game. Accountability for one’s actions is important, but compassion is more important. Bearing the consequences of one’s actions is important, but the one who will not care injures their own soul. Maintaining one’s righteousness is important, but the righteousness of some does not successfully build up the community.

We had looked for better times now and we do not have them. Instead, conditions are worse than they’ve ever been on our island. It’s vitally important to take the steps to care for ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

One of the ways we do that is to remember and to uphold first principles: compassion, care, and community.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , | Posted on August 18, 2021

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