Ten months. That’s how long Dr. Anne Hampton was unable to see her father, Chris, age 87, face-to-face. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Steppes care home in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England where Chris resides, went on lockdown in March, 2020. Since then, Dr. Hampton has only been able to see her father through a window at the assisted living facility. On January 1, 2021, however, Dr. Hampton was able to see her father up close, even if it was through the shield of a PPE (personal protective equipment) uniform.
Dr. Hampton jumped at the opportunity to join a medical team in administering the Covid-19 vaccine to the residents in The Steppes care home. “When I realized we would be vaccinating The Steppes care home, I just thought this would be an amazing opportunity to take part in the vaccination program — and also to be able to get to see dad in a safe way,” Hampton said.
On January 1, Dr. Hampton went to The Steppes care home to administer the vaccine to 22 patients. The first one she inoculated was her father. “Hello Dad, I’ve come to give you your vaccination today, to stop the virus,” Hampton said in a tender moment caught on camera. Hampton later explained, “He didn’t recognize me at first in all of my PPE but it’s been lovely to see him, just briefly, and start him being protected.”
Hampton and all the world is hopeful that the vaccine will help defeat this dreaded virus that has kept us separated from our loved ones. We long to see and to be with our loved ones, face-to-face in the same room, with no masks or barriers between us.
Separated. That word speaks to a painful reality. It is a word that describes what our sins do to our relationship with God. Isaiah the prophet told the people of Judah: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Because of our sins, we are separated from God and doomed.
But God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Through Jesus, we can be saved from our sins and reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The atoning blood that Jesus shed in His death will not inoculate us from sin, but it will keep us cleansed and in fellowship with God as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).
What a glorious reality with eternal blessings. We don’t have to be separated from God anymore! We can enjoy relationship, fellowship, and union with God, all because He loves us so much that He made reconciliation possible through the gift of His Son. Won’t you accept His offer of reconciliation?
David A. Sargent
Creekwood church of Christ