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Love Makes Even the Pandemic Better

Love Makes Even the Pandemic Better

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 17th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“The first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Those are the concepts discussed in my book, ‘The Right Fight’”.

“What you do does not matter so much as why you do it—whether your actions stem from a loving desire to put God and the people around you before yourself or from a fearful distrust that love will protect you and a selfish desire to win first.

“Focusing on the fruit or the blessings in your life will cut you off from the source that produces them, and putting others before yourself, seeking the truth for the sake of others, and fighting to live a loving life does not always result in immediate blessings.

“Striving to live a loving life will result in the only true blessings life has to offer, but the crazy part—or maybe the sanest part—is that giving must be done with a pure heart, not with ulterior motives. But when it is, the blessings we do receive are sweeter for the way they surprise us and more genuine for the purity that produced them.

“I fail miserably most of the time in my efforts to live a loving life, but I keep trying, and sometimes, the results that come to me out of the love others return to me are the most memorable gifts of my life.

“In 2004, I was training for the 2004 Water Ski National Championships. I had won the 1996 National Championship and the bronze medal in 2003 and was looking forward to a great season. It was early in the season, and my second jump of the summer changed my hopes from praying I could win another national championship to praying I could walk and run with my kids again. I landed a jump with my left ski pointed sideways because of a mistake I made on the ramp.

“The resulting injury left me with a dislocated knee and worse. I completely tore three of my four ligaments and partially tore my only remaining ligament. It was the worst injury of my career.

“My doctors, Michael McMahon and Jack Johnston, referred me to a physician in Houston, Texas, by the name of Walter Lowe. Dr. Lowe was the chief orthopedic surgeon for the University of Texas Medical Center and chief orthopedic physician for the Houston Texans NFL football team. His wife, Dawn Lowe, was his surgical assistant. I met with them hoping they could help me recover well enough to walk and run again, maybe even ski jump again.

“Long story short, Dr. Lowe and Dawn gave me back the use of my leg by performing surgery and reconstructing a knee that was damaged nearly beyond repair. If Dr. Lowe and Dawn hadn’t sacrificed most of their lives to become the best at what they do, I could have been crippled for life.

“I saw the dozens of patients pouring in and out of their clinic, imagined the workload, witnessed the two of them and their staff still going strong every time I left their office at 6 p.m. after an appointment, and realized I owed them more than payment. I owed them a sincere thank-you.

“So, I emailed them and told them I was aware of the sacrifices they made in order to help people. I thanked them for reconstructing my knee and wrote that I would be forever grateful. Lest they forget or discount the fruit of their sacrifice, I wanted them to know what their daily service and commitment had meant to me and my family. In the years following, my family and I somehow became what their staff called Dr. and Dawn Lowe’s favorite patients.

“None of that made sense to me and my family. I had only wanted to express our incredible gratefulness for their gift to us of restoring my knee.

“Sometime later, my son had a health scare, and Dr. Lowe made sure Kennedy was cared for immediately.

“Then, when my father fell ill, Dr. Lowe sent my dad to the best physician in Houston, who quickly diagnosed my father’s condition and treated him. My dad saw a full recovery as a result. I had not shared my gratitude with Dr. Lowe and Dawn to receive anything—only to thank them for what they had done for me and my family. But it turned out that the Lowes were such loving people that loving them just resulted in further blessings for me.

…”All I am trying to say is that we create our own world as we live either from love or fear. In time, all our relationships are built either for others or for ourselves. When they are built for others, the blessings seem to keep coming for us; and when the relationships are built for ourselves, we have to fight for everything we want. In time, as you live a loving life building loving relationships everywhere you go, you find yourself so surrounded by love that all you feel is grateful and undeserving.

“I also have a few stories about times I showed love to people who never loved in return, but not many. Almost everyone has the courage to love when they are loved. The question is who among us will love when they are not loved, because for them love will rule their lives no matter what.

“I believe we are called to encourage each other, especially when we see others living out love, disregarding how much it might be costing them. When we live consumed in fear over what we might lose, we can’t always see the love being poured out for us.

“But when we cast away our fears and focus on the seven things love is -- patience, kindness, truth, protecting others, trust, hope, and perseverance -- we can more likely see and receive the abundance of love being sent our way. As we begin to give some of that love back, [we should remember to] love for love’s sake—because of the love that has been shown to us by Christ.

“When love rules our lives, the fruit of that love is more than we can ever manipulate from others even if we tried.”

This horrible pandemic offers fruitful ground and countless ways of showing love to others, especially our healthcare workers, our families, neighbors, and communities.

Let’s make love happen in this most unlovely of times. Love makes it better.

Laus Deo,