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GENDUSA COLUMN: What is the Price we will pay?

What is the cost when we buy doses of “meanness?” What is the price we pay when we fall prey to con artists and the contemptible?  Well, if we don’t know the price by now, it is hard to imagine we ever will.

I was always taught that the mean-spirited, the power mongers, the damage seekers, and bullies would fail in the end. Dad always said those who climb the ladders to success using unsavory tactics might reach the top, but soon you would see them plummet as you slowly work your way honorably upward. He always believed that evil could appear it is winning, but it can’t. 

Years ago, when I began teaching an adult Sunday school class, my minister said to me, “Now, Lynn, the minute you begin promoting the goodness of the Lord, evil will begin to attack you. So, continually pray that you will recognize the touch of the wicked.” I, like so many, often did not see the wicked in my ways.

How many strong men and women who established mega-churches, led people to faith, and built an empire, lost it all due to their egos desiring more power? There are too many to name. Billy Graham was the only one I am aware of that saw the devil when he was around the corner ready to pounce. He understood the power of the wicked.

Today, when I see leaders promoting fear, bullying, shouting, defiantly supporting extremes, I wonder if anyone else sees the wicked on their shoulders? Why do we buy into the meanness and the insensitivity of these folks? What does that say about us?

The COVID situation in the world has brought out the worst among us. We can’t get well because the power-hungry promote lies and, at the same time, cry for freedom from disease. However, none of them want to work hard to end the very illness preventing our liberty.  How do those who promote ill-will to others gain followers? It is not only perplexing but sad.

I caught a glimpse of a baby’s face in the paper the other day. He probably was no more than nine months old. His eyes were wide and filled with fear as a team of doctors was hovering over him. Tubes ran into his nose and taped onto his face. His arms were fastened to a board where an IV needle ran liquid into his veins. I don’t think I will ever forget his sweet, cherub, innocent face. 

Children with COVID are filling up pediatric hospitals at such an alarming rate that they will more than likely be at capacity by the time you read this. The children’s cries are being drowned by the screams of meanness and the self-righteous. We demand our “RIGHTS,” but at what cost? Are we willing to kill and sicken our babies because we refuse to receive a vaccine or wear a mask because they could trample on our individual rights? Does not the child have the right to avoid suffering?

Truth is sometimes hard to see because it reflects reality. We don’t like it, but we must often shut our mouths, lay our politics down, turn off our favorite controversial podcast, or television talk show host, and view raw statistical facts.

The truth is that as of Labor Day, 4,580,020 people have died of this pandemic worldwide. Of that total, 666,219 were Americans making our country the leader of death.  Cases are rising as we continue our battle over vaccines and masks. And now our children are paying the price.

Donald Trump promoted Operation Warp Speed to obtain a vaccine to combat the brutality of COVID. When he spoke at one of his rallies recently, his very supporters booed him when he asked folks to go get the vaccine. What?! I think if that tiny infant could have spoken to the crowd, the meanness would have booed him as well.

Some of us are entirely off the charts with our lack of patience, respect, and inability to distinguish truth from fiction. Some wanna-be famous folks believe we are so ignorant that we would follow a goat if the goat said what we wanted to hear.

All I know for sure is that if we continue to pack stadiums with fans, not worry about vaccines or masks, not care about illness or death, or anything other than our “rights,” we are headed for a fall.  In the end, the one who will stand at the top of the ladder is a disease. We allowed the wickedness of COVID, the power seekers and fear mongers to win as the rest of us fell to the ground in defeat while holding our children.

Or are we tired of paying such a price?