A parable for who pray, “I thank you, Lord, that I am not like those who do not wear masks.” Designed to grate against metropolitan snobbery..
A low-income family in a rural flyover country trailer park prepares for Thanksgiving.
To them this means BBQ.
They have a giant Trump flag. Their front lawn has disassembled old cars. They avoid vaccines due to conspiracy theories. Almost everything they share on Facebook has an automatic “disputed” attachment and has a corresponding Snopes article. They spend much of their discretionary income on lottery tickets. They drink mass-market beer and smoke. They think the virus is overblown. To them, mask-mandates are a conspiracy to encroach upon basic liberties so that their guns can be taken away.
Joe lives down the road and is a recent widower. He has always been a cranky man and has never been polite. He doesn’t socially contribute in any positive way and is awkward to be around. He scowls at kids who cross his lawn. Since his wife died he has been even more sullen, miserable, and isolated.
So they send one of their kids to invite him over for Thanksgiving. Inviting him over violates a local gathering mandate. The boy who knocks on Bubba’s door isn’t even wearing a mask.
He arrives and they put some cheap beers and BBQ in his hands. He sits in Dad’s nice chair and they watch NFL football. They yell at the TV together and snicker at commercials. They see him sorta-maybe smile for the first time. They send him home with a big bowl of leftovers and give him a very sweaty handshake on his way out.
Because they love him.
The big point: We can’t judge someone’s neighbor-love based on them not sharing mainstream sensibilities about the pandemic.