Pfizer Dose 1
It’s easy to romanticize the experience of getting vaccinated. For me, it was a fairly ordinary civic duty merged with traffic to downtown Philly, hunting for a parking spaces, hitting a pothole or twelve, and waiting in a line in temperatures 20° colder than yesterday. PA weather this time of year is dumb.
The morning was also surrounded by a stop at the Belmont Plateau, where I began a virtual retreat for the next two days, conversations with a former seminary intern coincidentally behind me in line, and a walk along the so-very empty pathway on the Delaware River where padlocks and chalk art call out for hope. In these spaces, I was reminded of the connectional realities of not only the church, but also and more belovedly- the human family. This commonality is the sacred Energy that made this day possible for so many before and after my single-dose injection.
I didn’t cry. Maybe a little. Mostly I thought about all I have hoped for these last 14 months. I thought about brilliant scientists and researchers who pulled off this global miracle. I thought about those who were not able to make it to this day, because even a miracle wasn’t fast enough. I thought about those who still lack access or fear the vaccine for a variety of reasons. I thought about the smell of my stale breath behind a mask and what could’ve been if more people would have been willing to endure a tic tac for the sake of the common good. I thought about medical personnel and chaplains, therapists and volunteers at vaccine and testing sites. I thought about officiants at funerals. I thought about my children and wife, my closest friends and family. I gave thanks, lifted a prayer, looked for a piece of chalk to add my own word of hope (no luck), and now hold on hope for another day. I dare to believe there is enough energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to get us through this hell until heaven is on earth and all is right and good again. I dare believe resurrection is happening and will happen...even when such belief feels so very trivial and mundane, even terrifying. I trust this is not the end, but a new beginning...of beginnings.