A short-short story sermon—perhaps a parable—by David Albert Farmer, PhD, preacher and pastor. November 15 2020. Silverside Sunday Morning Online.

The Palms at Pontchartrain Senior Residence

Metairie, Louisiana

November 6, 2020; 6:45 p.m.

Alex Toups, R.N., is about to begin a twelve-hour shift as charge nurse in the healthcare unit. A former Marine Corps medic, Alex completed his B.S. in Nursing after his discharge from the Marines. About ten years into the practice of nursing, Alex has begun to eye LSU’s Doctor of Nursing Science degree to further his knowledge of and skills in geriatric nursing. He was so conscientious about wearing a mask everywhere except at home, he often missed seeing his handsome face in those quick passes by mirrors and other reflectors as he went about his tasks. Yes, he was vain about his looks, and could be. A small flaw if at all. His patients and their families raved about the excellence of the care they received from Alex. He was touched by the compliments, but his vanity as to good looks did not keep him from saying every time his work was praised, “I just try to honor my God who gave me any gift I have and my Lord Jesus who taught me how to care.”

Russell Prince is an 89-year-old apparent Covid survivor. A fifteen-year resident in one of the nearby upscale senior adult apartments (a one-bedroom model since he became a widower), he was a patient in the healthcare unit at the Palms because they offered short-term care to non-residents when beds were available. Russell loved everything about Donald Trump and tolerated no criticisms of the President in his presence; he detested the liberal media and found plenty of like-minded patriots in Metairie. He donated substantially to the current campaign as he had to the first. Russell refused to entertain the notion that he became infected while attending a gathering of Trump supporters at which masks were forbidden. He had collected several Make America Great Again caps. Off a ventilator and out of ICU, the first thing he asked his granddaughter to bring him was his favorite MAGA cap. His vocal cords hadn’t recovered from the throat tubes, and he still needed supplemental oxygen. His doctors were amazed at his recovery.