“A scoffer when rebuked will only hate you, the wise when rebuked, will love you.”Proverbs 9:8
Sometimes a proverb will jump at you off the page. As I write this we’re still under “social distancing” but it is amazing to see the “scoffers” defy common sense, fail to wear masks, and, well, risk life and limb, and the health of others. To see the faces of those demanding an end to social distancing is to quite often look into the glare of hate.
I’m old enough (yikes) to remember quarantine signs on houses with measles or mumps. I certainly remember iron lungs being used for children who contracted polio. Strangely there were those who resisted having children receive the Salk or Sabin vaccines. How many lives were saved by the vaccines, one of which was administered on a sugar cube, and by heeding the warnings of those orange, yellow and red signs! I’m also old enough to understand that I am constantly learning. I have a sign on my desk, “Be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.” I am constantly learning about life, about our complex world, and about myself, especially after being two times a cancer patient and having open heart surgery some years back. Notice I didn’t say “victim.” I have had and guess still have in some ways, serious illnesses but I do not consider myself a victim. Illness happens. We can make ourselves often into victims by how we handle it, often by scoffing at things that can help us and others to become and remain well. I know how much I miss the gym. I try to eat a balanced diet. I work with my physicians, not perfectly, I am sure, but I try to listen. I seek above all to listen to God speaking in my soul instructing me on the pathways of life. And when I am wandering, when I am scoffing, I need the gentle word of correction to reorient myself in the ways of life.