Yesterday, I was planning to drive to Ames, Iowa, to give the Fall Areopagus lecture for a campus ministry at Iowa State. The lecture, which explores the relationship between theology and culture, is titled “Virality, Vitality, and Vulnerability.” In the opening paragraph I talk about how viruses humble us, reminding us of our creaturely vulnerability.

The day before the lecture I started to feel lethargic. In the evening, I developed a slight fever, and in the morning had a sore throat. Just to be safe, I went and got a Covid test. To my surprise, the test was positive.

I’ve been fully vaccinated since April (Moderna), which I assume explains the mildness of my symptoms (sore throat/slight fever). It’s a “breakthrough case,” which are pretty rare but more common as variants rise. I’m now quarantined in the front of the house, but it is quite comfortable so I can’t complain. 

Friends and family scheduled to visit us in the next week will delay their trips. The Areopagus lecture will be rescheduled for October and I will teach online for a bit. (Thankfully, last year gave me a lot of practice in being flexible, and students are gracious). I was scheduled to preach on Sunday but a friend generously stepped in.

I’ve been blessed by the thoughtfulness of friends and colleagues. One – Jay Shim – just stopped by while I was writing this. Others have sent kind notes, encouraging texts, and offered to get groceries & mow our lawn.

I am thankful to be caught in a web of vitality, embedded in relationships that seek my good. Not everyone is so fortunate, and we are called to weave them into our webs of care, as best we can. We are all vulnerable, but we have the opportunity to embrace our vulnerability together.

p.s. Please get vaccinated.