I’m sure you’ve seen Dr. Anthony Fauci on television in his role as the United States’ top infectious disease specialist. But you may not know that Dr. Fauci’s face is now appearing on socks. A Rochester, New York, shop is also selling doughnuts with his face topped with red, white, and blue sprinkles.
Dr. Fauci is even getting his own bobblehead courtesy of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee. It shows him in a suit as he makes a motion showing how we need to “flatten the curve” in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The museum plans to donate $5 from every $25 Fauci bobblehead sale to the 100 Million Masks Challenge.
This is the least we can do to thank him for his leadership during this crisis. Dr. Fauci is working twenty-hour days; his wife, herself a bioethicist, says she has to remind him “to rest, to drink water, to eat well, to sleep, and to be selective about what he agrees to and say no to some things.”
Tragically, Dr. Fauci is also in the news today because of rising threats to his safety. Officers from the Department of Health and Human Services are providing personal protection for him; he is also receiving protection at his Washington, DC, home from the Metropolitan Police Department. Asked about these threats, Dr. Fauci said, “I’ve chosen this life, I know what it is. There are things about it that sometimes are disturbing, but you just focus on the job you have to do.”
To threaten the man who is leading the fight against a deadly pandemic seems not only illogical but irrationally dangerous. We would think that, in a time like this, we would all want the best help from the best resources available to us.
How is this fact relevant to us spiritually?
“I trust God . . . and I wear my seatbelt”
In my morning Daily Articles this week, we have explored God’s call to spiritual awakening by focusing on 2 Chronicles 7:14 and our need for humility, intercession, spiritual renewal, and repentance. In this Special Edition, I’d like to discuss the impact on our lives and witness when we live by these commitments.
In short, we’ll find the courage to face our fears and impact our culture with victorious faith.
As of this afternoon, global confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceed one million, with more than 55,000 deaths. Two Harvard professors, one an epidemiologist and the other a specialist in immunology and infectious diseases, have likened the present moment to a “life raft.” They note: “The life raft is the combination of intense measures we are using to slow the spread of the virus, and dry land is the end to the pandemic.”
Unfortunately, they remind us, that land is “far away.”
In a crisis like this, trusting God does not mean presuming on him. It does not mean that we don’t do everything we need to do while we are on this “life raft.” A friend sent me this post from a pastor in Tennessee:
I trust God . . . and I wear my seatbelt.
I trust God . . . and I wear a motorcycle helmet.
I trust God . . . and there are enough life jackets on my boat for everyone on board.
I trust God . . . and I use oven mitts with really hot dishes.
I trust God . . . and I lock my house at night.
I trust God . . . and I have smoke detectors in my house.
I trust God . . . and I take my prescribed medicines.
I trust God . . . and I will follow the best guidelines to share the task of flattening the curve.
Acting with caution and wisdom does not indicate a lack of trust in God.
To the contrary, trusting God enables me to partner with him as he works on my behalf and through me to serve others.
Jesus “has made this man strong”
Living with humility, intercession, spiritual renewal, and repentance as we serve God and others is our job. Using our obedience in transforming and eternally significant ways is his.
When Peter and John were used to heal a crippled man in Jerusalem, Peter explained the miracle this way: “[Jesus’] name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong” (Acts 3:16). He knew that Jesus is just as active through us as he was in his own body during his earthly ministry. This is because we are literally the “body of Christ” today (1 Corinthians 12:27).
In the power of the Spirit, Christians continue and extend Jesus’ ministry in our world. And his power overcomes our fear of failure and sense of finitude as we depend on his omniscience and omnipotence.
Would you make humble dependence on the Spirit, intercession with and for others, a passion for spiritual renewal, and the practice of repentance your values and commitments in these days?
If so, your life and impact on the lives of others will attain a significance you cannot imagine or measure. And spiritual awakening will be a reality in your life and influence.
“I arise today through mighty strength”
In seeking such spiritual renewal and transformation, let’s make this prayer of St. Patrick our own:
I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me: God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through mighty strength.
Are you experiencing such “mighty strength” today?