“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)
There’s not much more to be said after scripture like that….but no matter where you are at in life, it’s good to read. Strangely enough, in all of that goodness of scripture, what stands out to me this week is “let your gentleness be evident to all”. I’m an incredibly opinionated person, but my fear of confrontation keeps me from speaking such opinions unless absolutely necessary. If you’re blessed enough to be one of my family members then you’ve heard Ranting Charity before. Well, in keeping with the spirit of doing new things, I’m offering my first “opinionated post”….
So, how to do this and continue to “Let my gentleness be evident to all”? People who speak their opinions in judgment and without gentleness are like nails on a chalkboard to me (NOTE: Charity’s 1st opinion of this post). So, I’ll add this disclaimer that if you have the facts to show me, there’s a good chance I’ll change my opinion. But for all my research and work with Special Needs children, here is my first official, debate-starting, opinion. Let the wars begin.
To immunize or not immunize: That is the question.
I say immunize. Now, I have to agree that our country has a habit of giving unnecessary things more than any other country – from the chicken pox shot to double mocha de-caf lattes to huge portions of food to dvd players in minivans. Hey, I drink lattes… But the chicken pox shot? It’s not even fatal…it’s really all about preventing 30 kids from staying home from school with the chicken pox, where-in the school loses attendance money.
Yet even with that, I say immunize. No, Autism is not caused by immunizations. Yes, probably almost all children with Autism were immunized as babies…and they probably all drank milk too…and you know what, they probably all watched The Little Einsteins and wore diapers and ate canned baby food…why hasn’t anyone blamed Autism on any of those things? Oh that’s right…because we don’t know what causes Autism…is it possible that these sweet children I work with day in and day out were “predisposed” to it? That it could be a dormant gene? That it could be from any number of other causes stemming from a fallen and broken world? That same broken world that produces the cancer gene and the extra Downs Syndrome chromosome and the Cystic Fybrosis disorder…have we blamed any of that on immunizations? No. Let’s face it, Autism scares us because we don’t understand it. Like AIDS, we have no cure and no answers. Thankfully, Autism isn’t fatal. In fact, I work with wonderful, beautiful children that learn along with their families to live happy and fulfilling lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not brushing it off…believe me, I work with these children and their families – I see the toll it takes and the hardships they face. But praise Jesus, they’re children are alive.
Do you know what is fatal? Polio. Smallpox. I’ve seen children in other countries firsthand that are dying at a terribly young age from these diseases and others like them. Do you know what could have prevented their early deaths? That one simple shot that they are denied, because their country either doesn’t provide them or their parents cannot afford medical care. And you know what else? There are Autistic children in this same said country…interesting considering they were denied immunizations…
I believe the Lord provided modern medicine to be used, albeit with wisdom as with anything else. Children who haven’t been immunized may not catch some of the awful diseases, fatal or not…do you know why that is? Because all the other children they’re playing with are immunized… I see mom’s not immunizing their children for fear of the shot, and then not taking their children out of the home for fear of the diseases they might catch because they haven’t been immunized! And then there’s mom’s who have immunized their children but still fear for their children’s health despite the prevention!
Here, I defer to the middle portion of the above scripture. God did not give us a spirit of fear. It all boils down to this. At some point, we all have to trust that God will take care of our children. The Lord has a plan for their life and He knows the number of their days. When He seeks to bring them home to His side, who can stop Him? If He seeks to heal them of a fatal disease, who can stop Him? In the meantime, I’m going to immunize my children, because I feel it’s a blessed provision after seeing sweet children in countries deprived of such blessings. I’m not going to immunize them out of fear or NOT immunize them out of fear. And then present my requests to God with thanksgiving on behalf of the children He has given me and the medical opportunities this country has for them, trusting Him to fulfill His Will for their life….and letting the peace of God rest in my heart and mind.
And that’s that.