I COMPLETED this Acrylic painting last week. It’s my interpretation of Jerry Yarnell’s Project Eight, Volume One: Painting Basics, titled ‘Evening Shade’. If you are interested in Acrylic painting, Jerry may be a good place to start.
I used this particular piece of Art for two reasons: First, I’m partial to rural scenes featuring buildings and landscape. Secondly, this one includes cows. My reason for using cows will surface as we consider the Thought—Vaccine.
VACCINE: SUSPENSION of microorganisms that induces antibody production to protect against disease…Induces immunity. The Latin word for cow is vacca, so the scientific name for cowpox is variola vaccina because vaccina means “of the cow.” Edward Jenner, a British physician, coined the word vaccine in 1796, using it to describe the technique of injecting people with cowpox to confer smallpox immunity. – Google
HAVING PASSED ONE year since the first confirmed U.S. case of COVID-19, Minnesota has vaccinated nearly 25% of its most-at-risk population. It has been, and continues to be, a long and difficult journey into a ‘new normal’. There does seem to be a growing sense of light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel! Marj and I received our one-shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations March 8.
For weeks the idea of a blog on the Thought—Vaccines—has been in my morning thoughts as an allegory or metaphor mirroring what I see as an important national spiritual need. It brings me back to a sermon illustration I heard half a century ago.
Story of Two Fathers
TWO FARMING FAMILIES learned of a terrible illness spreading into their community as a deadly threat to their children. How would they prepare? The first father decided to isolate his children. He boarded up the windows and restricted children from leaving the house. The second father decided to inoculate his children with a vaccine, and with proper instruction, his children were allowed to safely leave the house.
Soon, the Illness was upon them. Children in the first household were curious as to what was taking place outside. They secretly broke through the boarded widows. Completely vulnerable to the virus, they became ill with disastrous consequences. Children in the second home were protected by the inoculation. Two options. Two outcomes.
A Metaphorical Concern
IT SEEMS TO ME; humankind is increasingly being immersed in a pandemic that ultimately threatens all life on this planet. It’s not a biological ‘test-tube’ virus. I’m thinking of it as a ‘communal’ virus. What do I mean? The all too frequent default spirit manifest, in too many communities, often feels like ‘hostility’ (i.e., anger, opposition, resentment, intimidation, fights and crime) for example. We see it from the White House to backyard playhouse via public and private media. Interestingly, the antinomy for hostility is ‘friendliness’ and kindness! These still exist, but I sense they are being eroded by the ‘hostility’ virus.
“THE ENGLISH JOURNALIST G. K. Chesterton, after his tour of the United States in 1921, said he was “no futurist”, but there were certain things about America’s future that anyone who thought carefully could see with little or no clairvoyance. American democracy has been grounded in convictions that were essentially religious so those convictions could not decay or be rejected with impunity. American democracy would either keep its basis and remain democratic, or it would lose its basis and become “wildly and wickedly undemocratic.” Whichever way history went, he concludes some “ultimate test will come.’” 
WHERE IS THE VACCINE to protect humankind from escalating disastrous effects of ‘Hostility’? Thankfully, the vaccine has been with us from the beginning! So, what’s the problem? Is it ineffective? No. The vaccine continues with supernatural effectiveness. I sense the growing signs of ‘hostility’ is not lack of a vaccine but an ineffective delivery system. Vaccination for the Coronavirus is taking place at increasing numbers of specially designated locations where one can make an appointment, show up and be vaccinated. Where does one go for the vaccine protecting against ‘hostility’?
WITH THE BEST of intentions, I’m afraid our church gatherings often lose sight of their main gathering purpose: To equip [inoculate] his [God’s] people [one another] for works of service [in congregation and in community!] with the antinomy of ‘hostility’—’friendliness’ and kindness that springs from practiced love.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:23
… so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
 A Free People’s Suicide, Os Ginness, IVP Books 2012 p, 134