Contagious

A New Virus Can Be Alarming

Being and staying healthy is on everyone’s mind these days as the Coronavirus keeps spreading around the world. When I phoned Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan yesterday, Ruby answered the phone and said that Ed was a cranky bear suffering from a cold. When Ed came to the phone, I could hear his cold in his voice. He was not impressed when I said, “I have to get a face mask on before I can talk to you.” His answer indicated that he was extremely grumpy and very unsociable.

He said to me, “You better not tell anyone that you and the wife went to China, even if it was seven years ago. Maybe that Coronavirus was starting seven years ago. You could be a walking time bomb ready to explode into contagiousness.”

“I think even if it happens, you will be safe in Melville, Saskatchewan, with me here in Chilliwack, B.C. I do hope they can contain and treat the Coronavirus successfully. People getting sick and dying from the virus reminds me that death, like sin, has an insatiable appetite,” I told Ed.

“I haven’t had much of an appetite since I got this cold. It’s a sorry life when I cannot enjoy my food,” Ed mentioned.

“I hope you didn’t give your cold to Ruby?” I asked.

“Not yet,” Ed answered. “So far, I am the only one sneezing, feverish, coughing, and having trouble breathing.”

“Sounds like similar symptoms to the Coronavirus, I hope Ruby doesn’t have to isolate you to the basement,” I told Ed. I also pointed out that there was a good chance that he would get over his cold and get back to normal health within a few days. My comments did not help Ed’s grumpiness.

It is easy to have a negative attitude when we hear the Coronavirus keeps spreading around the world, infecting and killing people. Negative or fearful attitudes can infect us. In the face of news about the wide-spreading Coronavirus, we need a courageous approach. When we take a stand against fear, we stiffen our own spines and the spines of others. Our attitudes either affect others for good or infect them unfavorably.

Most of us would agree smiles, laughter, and enthusiasm are contagious. No less contagious are anger, hopelessness, fear, and sin. Sickness was often feared in the Bible. Some diseases like leprosy were contagious, and those infected were isolated so they could not infect others. Jesus was sought out for healings because then as now those sick, lame, blind, and deaf, need help. Pain, sickness, suffering, and disability have always plagued humankind. Good health is seldom treasured until it is gone.

Jesus was more than a healer of suffering in our bodies. He came to heal our thinking, our attitudes, our understanding of spiritual health, but most of all, our relationship with God the Father. We take sickness, pain, and suffering in our bodies seriously. Yet, we fail to believe we are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and healing for our souls. God presented Jesus his Son as a sacrifice of atonement for us. “Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  (1 John 2:2)

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Raymond Maher
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