By Dr. Hal Brady
The late Dr. John Claypool, noted minister, tells about going to make pastoral calls at a large hospital. He visited two women both approaching 90 and both with physical difficulties. When John entered the first woman’s room, he felt this incredible cloud of despair. The woman was quick to list all her complaints.
Dr. Claypool said he tried to cheer her up but to no avail.
Two floors down, he saw the other woman who was facing some serious physical ailments, but the atmosphere in her room was totally different. The woman bragged on everything – doctors, nurses, food – everything.
Commenting on the food, she said, “Why, they bring it to me on a tray, and I love the variety of the menus.” Then she added, “Now, John, eating under my circumstances is not easy. Because of age I only have two teeth left, but thank the good Lord, they hit!”
Dr. Claypool said that at that moment he felt like stepping back and giving her a full military salute! Because all the heroism in the world is not confined to the battlefield. That woman was adding something good and joyful to the world.
For emphasis, let me repeat Dr. Claypool’s statement: “Because all the heroism in the world is not confined to the battlefield.
My, oh my, how we are recognizing the truth of that statement anew during the COVID-19 pandemic of today.
No doubt our concept of what it means to be patriotic in the past has largely centered in celebrating the military. The idea has been to celebrate and honor people who have agreed to risk their lives to protect the nation and the nation’s interests. And certainly, we will continue to celebrate and honor those valiant defenders of the sacred freedoms we hold so dear.
However, today, during this COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing our understanding of what it means to be patriotic increase and include numbers of others who are risking their lives and well -being for the benefit of the rest of us – doctors, nurses, hospital orderlies, postal workers, teachers, police officers, fire fighters, UPS drivers, EMTs, agricultural laborers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, pharmacists, pharmacy attendants, National Guard, active duty soldiers, election monitors, trash collectors, and others.
Here we are talking about a whole range of patriots whose jobs require them to continue working even in the midst of staying in place orders. True heroes and heroines!
As I recently read in a magazine article, “Maybe grocery workers could be celebrated at the halftime of NFL games
when the league restarts. Or perhaps nurses could lead the parades at some of our country’s celebrations.”
At any rate, our best response to all these patriots is our deepest gratitude and our heartfelt prayers in their behalf. God bless and protect them, every one.
Dr. Hal Brady is a retired pastor who continues to present the Good News of Jesus Christ and offer encouragement in a fresh and vital way though Hal Brady Ministries (halbradyministries.com).