Fully Vaccinated

BRIGHTER DAYS

Heading to my vaccine site for my 2nd shot, I felt:

Anxiety.

Adrenaline.

Inability to focus.

Nervousness.

A battle between fear and logic.

Driving home from the vaccine site, I felt:

Joy.

Thankfulness.

A big sigh of relief.

Grief and tears and deep sadness for all we’ve been through and lost.

Huge appreciation for our scientists, our healthcare workers, and the essential workers that risked their lives so we could make it through this.

A hope for brighter days ahead.

I’m having a hard time putting into words the mix of joy and deep sadness I feel today after getting my 2nd shot. Joy at the miraculous science of these vaccines, joy at the miracle of protection these vaccines give us, and joy in the knowledge that brighter days are coming. But all of that joy is churning right alongside a deep sadness as I think about all we’ve been through and lost in this last year.

Joy + Deep Sadness. Hope + Tears. The brilliance of our scientific community + the emotional, financial, and physical toll wrought by COVID-19.

The juxtaposition of joy + deep sadness, the two coming together into a hard-to-describe new life post vaccination. A kind of renaissance or rebirth for all of us. A collective rising from the ashes of this devastating and destructive pandemic.

The obstacle has been the way. We have learned that we can do hard things – the hardest things. This COVID season will be forever tattooed on our psyches and written about in our history books. We will talk of this season with our kids as they grow up. We will tell of this season to our grandkids once they come along.

I’m reminded of one of the meditations I’ve prayed almost every day of this pandemic – the words of a Hebrew prophet named Jeremiah that he spoke over the nation of Israel during their Babylonian captivity:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

I think about the lyrics of a song that Elevation Worship just released:

“If He dresses the lilies with beauty and splendor / How much more will He clothe you? / How much more will He clothe you? / If He watches over every sparrow / How much more does He love you? / How much more does He love you?”

Plans. Prosperity. Security. Hope. A future.

All in the face of captivity.

Beauty. Splendor. Provision. Sovereignty. Love. The perfect and perfecting Love of our Heavenly Father.

All amidst a pandemic.

This is where my heart and head are today, on this Vaccination Day. It is Joy + Deep Sadness. It is Hope + Tears. But there are plans and prosperity and security and hope and a future and beauty and splendor and provision and sovereignty and love – all right here for us. “How much more does He love you?”

As one of my favorite East Bay coffee shops often says: “BRIGHTER DAYS.”

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