Harvard Magazine comes quarterly to our house. I read “The Classes” and the obituaries to see what old classmates are doing, and who has died. Occasionally particular articles catch my eye, and I am rewarded by reading them.
That happened with the recent November/December issue with an article titled, “The Conservative,” (New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s journey through America decadence and upheaval), by Lidialyle Gibson.
Ross is surely an interesting young man with surprising views to his many readers. He’s apparently a cool guy who can converse with people across the regular spectrum from liberal to conservative without being rude, angry, or obnoxious. Which is a good reason for many people to read him and listen to his views.
Recently he has apparently written much about the coronavirus pandemic, through the lens of his own experience with it. I was taken with his reaction to that experience. It was expressed with considerable thoughtfulness, real wisdom, and a refreshingly earnest faith.
I want to quote some of his conclusions for your encouragement, – taken from Gibson’s article, p. 39) – and some of my own.
In 2015, Ross Douthat and his family moved from Washington, DC to a country farmhouse in Connecticut. He was bitten by a tick, contracting Lyme disease. This led to years of suffering “wrecked and despairing,” he reported. He’s better now, “but I’ve learned a lot.” He’s had misdiagnoses, multiple antibiotics, and “doctors inclined to give up on Lyme disease patients who don’t get well right away.” He’s writing a book about his experience.
“In March, he wrote about the confusion and stress of conflicting coronavirus test results. In April, he wrote about pain and grief and the search for meaning in the pandemic’s suffering. And in a column in August he advised people with whom the virus had lasted months. He spoke from his own experience of both Lyme disease and also Covid19, which had made him sick most of the spring.
In that August column he wrote, “Trust your own experience of your body.” And: “if your doctor struggles to help you, you’ll need to help yourself.” And: “Ask God to help you...I mean this very seriously.” At the end he said, “You can get better.” “That belief is essential. Hold onto it.”
The latter leaks into profound understanding of God’s healing power and importance of believing that. Directly or indirectly, this leads to the wisest of counsels about living through the strange experience of pandemic and its illness and struggle. I include so much of the article because of its note of hope and help to us in times like these. We all need whatever help we can get – especially from the Highest Source.
Bless you all.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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