Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 52
December 27, 2021
Corona Gratitude at Christmas
Much to my surprise, I am Covid positive. I was tested after I became ill on the fourth Sunday of Advent. I spent one and one half days sick in bed despite taking all the precautions that I could. I wear a mask everywhere and have had two Covid vaccines plus a booster. I never dreamed that my test would be anything but negative.
As world of my illness spread people were very kind and checked in with me. One conversation that I had was with a friend who is a minister and chaplain. She asked how I felt and I told her that I was much better and out of bed.
“No,” she persisted, she is a therapist and a chaplain after all, “how are you feeling emotionally? Being ill around Christmas represents a profound loss for you.”
“I feel grateful,” I replied.
“You really are in denial,” she proclaimed. “You must be feeling anger.”
“Anger? Why? I’m alive.”
I continued, “In the early days of Covid three colleagues died from it. I spent only 1 ½ days sick in bed from it.
“I bet that my two vaccines and my booster might have kept me from hospitalization and/or death.
“I checked in with those folks that I was near my last Sunday in church. None of them have symptoms of Covid. I have good reason to believe that I didn’t spread it.
“Yes, I spent a bit of time on sick leave but I was able to work from home during quarantine. That is a gift we didn’t have before our technology explosion.
“I’m not feeling anger, I’m feeling gratitude.”
My friend just couldn’t relent. “You missed Christmas with your whole family, and a live Christmas Eve Service. These are losses. You must feel some anger at this.”
“Life isn’t perfect. I’m grateful for the grace I was given. I don’t have time to be angry over what I don’t have. Life itself is a gift and I’m grateful I am still alive.”
I guess that this is a choice we all make on Christmas and every other day of our lives. Do we get angry over what we don’t have or do we celebrate with gratitude all the wonderful gifts that we are given? Gratitude is a choice. I hope that we all feel gratitude each and every day.
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