COLUMN: Pastor Louie gets the vaccine

Yes, I got the shot. Yesterday as a matter of fact. I want to talk a bit about this in the faint hope that it might help those of you who are still on the fence to think things through about whether or not to get the shot.

Please note this is not an article telling you to either get the shot or not get it. I’m not your daddy and it’s not my place to tell you what to do or how to live your life. However, I have found it helpful to get feedback from different sides on issues and hope this might help a few of you.

I’ve been more or less in the middle since the beginning of this COVID nightmare. I have agreed with some things I hear from one side but have had to acknowledge the other side does have it’s points as well. Of course the problem with being in the middle is that you often get shot at by both sides. It’s not unusual for me to have friends on both sides of the issues and discover that both of them are disappointed with me.

And that’s okay because since I’m not living for their approval, I find the lack of it to be no problem at all.

As I’ve watched and listened and read about the vaccine I had always evaluated it on the basis of whether or not I thought I actually needed it. And I kept coming up with the same answer – no. I’ve never really been worried or afraid of getting it, so why bother with a vaccine anyway?

Then on Monday I heard that the CDC had revised their advice on how to act if you’ve got the full vaccination. The part that stuck with me a little was that those vaccinated had a much smaller chance of passing on the virus to others.

Hmmm. Well I admit I heard that but didn’t give it much thought until it came up in a conversation with a friend. Then something grabbed my attention.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s not – as I tell people all the time – all about me! Maybe my decision about whether or not to get the shot shouldn’t be decided on what I want or need, but on the basis of what would be good for others.


As a pastor I’m around a lot of people who have weak or compromised immune systems. So I try to be careful not to pass anything on to them. It would be a terrible thing to pass along COVID to someone for whom it would be a difficult and perhaps even terminal ordeal. So it was on that basis that I decided to get the shot.

So I did. Now I’m sitting here with a sore right arm (it’s not that bad but I know it’s there) and am so far otherwise unchanged.

Except, of course, for the reminder that I need to be taking others into consideration about things like this and not just myself. I know, I know. Some of you are shaking your head and wondering how a pastor could forget this? Good question!

Just remember one thing about us pastors: we’re human too, you know. We make plenty of mistakes and struggle with all the same problems everyone else has. We also have a lot to learn and I’m happy to have learned something from all of this and to be a bit less self-absorbed in my thinking than I was before.

So that’s my little story. I hope you found it helpful. If not that’s alright. Just ignore me and go about your business. In the end we are free beings who have the right to choose and once having made those choices the responsibility to live with and take ownership of the results.

Either way, shot or no shot – no whining allowed!

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Editor’s link: Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)

Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit his website HERE.

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