This has been one of the strangest stretches of time. An allergic reaction left me with an eye swelling shut and attendant effects on my sinus system–which meant I called on our deep bench and asked Ben to take my preparation and make it his own. He did and said as he usually does, “I do your stuff better than you!”
I was so grateful as my allergic reaction settled the next day and my week returned to normal. Then, on Friday night, COVID came to visit at our house. Suddenly, I found myself in quarantine and made ANOTHER call to Ben. “Ben, I hate to do this again.” I had already recorded messages for our Online Church at 11 each week, but they aren’t the same for people who are on campus. So Ben and I had a hard lesson in duplicating work, but I was so thankful to be in a team where we pinch hit for each other.
Symptoms came on with a vengeance and the rest of our household adapted to the isolation and discomfort. And we thanked God for the limits on illness and prayed for full recovery.
Friends, I started a list many weeks ago. I kept hearing people talk about the “myth” of COVID. “I don’t know a single person who has had it,” I heard again and again. So, I started a list of all who I know have had it and describe the severity of its effects. I have personal connections with 74 who have had it. 23 have had severe symptoms that either completely incapacitated them or hospitalized them. And of the 23, 15 have died. You read that correctly: 15 of 74 died. I may hear about the most severe cases because of my job and I’m not making statistical assumptions.
I’m not telling this to heighten anxiety, but for you to know how painful this has been for people in your community. So when we ask you to take this seriously, when we ask you to take precautions, when we ask you to pray for people around you, it’s not idle gossip, vague inference, and it’s certainly not politics.
And by the way, if you do treat it flippantly, you need to know that I’ll hear the pain of grief from family members and friends who are torn up, just as you would be if you were going to a funeral and people pretended that your grief was imaginary.
Pray, be sensitive to the risks that people carry, and serve others by embracing precautions. Their lives may depend on it.