(Disclaimer: I’m not really a doctor, but I do know a thing or two about injections )
As more and more people are getting inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine, consider me an injection expert. I haven’t received the vaccine yet, but over the last ten years (thanks to my light and momentary migraine troubles), I estimate that I have had over 1,250 injections. Botox and Xiomin injections (30-40 shots every three months in 8 out of the last 10 years); monthly Aimovig doses; and 4 or 5 Benadryl injections per month add up to being poked a lot. This is not counting a few flu shots, blood draws, IV treatments, and other random jabs I’ve received in the last decade. Pin cushions have got nothing on me.
Except for the injections that I administer myself (Aimovig and Benadryl), I’ve never watched a needle go in my arm, leg or head. Instead, I look away, close my eyes and often sing (in my mind– singing out loud would give my health care worker a headache). So when it’s your turn to roll up your sleeve, try singing. It can’t hurt.
Just in case, you don’t know any appropriate hymns for such “sticky” situations (pun intended), here is my Covid-19 Vaccine hymn sing suggestions:
Before receiving the injection (possibly to your healthcare professional): Softly and Tenderly.
While getting injected: Be Still My Soul or Cleanse Me.
If the health care provider makes three attempts to vaccinate your arm: Holey, Holey, Holey (extra “e” provided)
The two words you DO NOT want to be used in describing your inoculation site: Deep and Wide
If the nurse has to use a tourniquet: Blest Be the Tie that Binds
Post vaccination: There is Power in the Blood
If the clinic doesn’t except your insurance and wants compensation: Jesus Paid It All
Once we are in post vaccination world again: We Gather Together
Of course, If the conspiracy theorists are right and this vaccination is deadly, then maybe we’ll be singing: When We All Get to Heaven. (That’s plain silly, not the hymn, conspiracy theories).
Unlike my previous 1,250 shots, I am looking forward to getting the vaccine (but I still won’t watch it go into my arm). Also unlike my other injections, this one is as much for others as it is for me. As we all know, Covid-19 has changed everything—pastoring included. Pastors have been shut out of hospitals, nursing homes and in many cases simply interacting with people. I’m hoping an inoculation will allow me access to help, pray and point people to Jesus. Not quite as dramatic as Neil Armstrong’s famous quote on the moon, still I am hoping for: “One small poke for man, one giant leap toward normalcy.”
Normalcy is coming. More and more of us are being vaccinated every day. In the meantime, keep praying for everyone in our covid-19 world, including: our government leaders, healthcare professionals, essential workers, and all those most vulnerable. Keep praying for the sick and remember those families that have lost loved ones. Whether getting a vaccination sooner or later, keep singing. Maybe during this time between inoculations-for-all and back-to-normal life, the best song we could sing is: Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus! Our ultimate hope is not in a vaccine, but in Jesus!