Originally published on Dr. John Waldron’s blog, https://johnwaldron65.blogspot.com/

“He was pretty sick,” the nurse told me.  “He kept telling me that he was in his 50s and that he was pretty healthy except for a little blood pressure and so he had thought he’d be fine.  We started on him on dexamethasone, Remdesivir, heparin, and oxygen.”

“How was his family?”  I asked.  

“His wife and daughter were pretty upset, but they all thought he’d be OK.  He felt pretty bad and kept telling us that he wished he’d gotten vaccinated.”

She paused for a second then began again.  “Then, he crashed.  We had to paralyze him and intubate him.  We proned him — did everything we could and by the next morning he was dead.”

“It was really terrible for his wife and daughter.  Just so quick, you know?”

The sad thing is that this story is not a solitary one.  There are many stories about very sick people in the ICU telling their families to get vaccinated and telling them not to get COVID, that it is worse than they thought.

The interesting thing to me is how easy it is for people to discount these accounts.  Perhaps they believe that they are made up by the media, or that there was something really wrong with the patient that made them so sick.

Regardless, the messages from the ICU often fall on deaf ears.

I’ve been contemplating the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.  This parable is simply the story of a wealthy man (given no name) and a poor man (named Lazarus).  We know virtually nothing about them except that they lived close to each other and they both died.

Lazarus after dying went Paradise, while the rich man went to hell.  There, in hell, he had a conversation with father Abraham where he begged Abraham to send Lazarus back, “For I have five brothers — so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”

Abraham denies this request, telling him that his brothers have Moses and the prophets (the Scriptures) to warn them of how they should behave.  

Still, the tormented man persisted.  “No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead they will repent.”

Abraham’s reply was simple.  “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

It seems a strange thing.  Maybe Jesus was telling His disciples that many would never believe in His resurrection.  Perhaps He was speaking of people’s unwillingness to hear voices that ask them to change their lives.  Change comes within, not from outside forces.

I don’t know why it is that people are so quick to discount good advice.  This really has nothing to do with COVID.  It has everything to do our desires and even the hardness of our hearts.

I see it all of the time.  People plan what they are going to do and then seek out counselors who encourage them in that path.

If you look hard enough, you can always find someone who will encourage you to continue to live dangerously.

Far better are those who listen — to Jesus, the law and the prophets.  They will be blessed, both now and in the future.

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