Photo: Corona Virus – NPR
“See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me.” (1969/1970) “See Me, Feel Me” Recorded by: The Who. Composer: Peter Townsend (Later, this song was part of “Tommy”, the rock opera.)
Embedded in my mind are the regular visits I would make to an old cemetery, a couple of blocks away from my grandparents house in Greenville, Texas. Maybe it was a morbid curiosity, but I really don’t think so. I first recall walking among the old, weathered tombstones at about 7 years old, enamored with the dates of births and deaths. I had a love of history even then which continues today. Among some of the headstones are many which are no longer legible. The Texas weather, which tends to be extreme at times, has become a giant eraser for engraved letters and numbers, especially with sandstone. Yet, the old stones remain as monuments of someone who lived in the community long before it was a certified town. The oldest tombstone you can still read is of a man born the same year George Washington died, 1799. Here in Texas, that’s old, considering Mexico owned the land at the time, and largely uninhabited by white pioneers from the east. One thing is for sure, he was a brave soul, staking out land belonging to the Caddo Indians and Mexico.
One summer day, I ran from the old cemetery, to my grandparents house, crying all the way. My grandmother, being concerned, asked why all the tears. I told her how I had discovered scores of tombstones of babies, toddlers, and kids my age (at the time), all passed away together, or around the same year. When I told her they died in 1917/1918, she told me of the horrid story of the Spanish Flu pandemic which thrived toward the end of WWI. The numbers are staggering. Globally, approximately 500 million were infected. 20 million to 50 million perished, with 675,000 being Americans. Of course, the elderly, the young, and the weak, were highly susceptible to the pandemic’s reach. The shared grief among the towns and communities must have taken its toll. As a little kid I understood it.
Of course, the new Coronavirus, also labelled, COVID-19, doesn’t even come close to those numbers. As I write this, China quarantined over 60 million people, roughly the size of Italy. It’s unprecedented. Again, as I write this, approximately 1,400 have died from the virus in China. 60,000 confirmed cases recorded in China. Unfortunately, I should mention there are rumors the numbers have been downsized by the Chinese government, and that the actual totals are far above and beyond what they have reported. Adding to speculations, rumors are growing concerning how and why the outbreak occurred. Some say it originated from a military bio lab where experiments with bio-weapons takes place. Others spread rumors that it was done by the Chinese government to distract from the news of the freedom protesters in Hong Kong clashing with the Chinese military and police. I truly hope it is not the case.
What is without rumor, are hard facts like, no cure, no medical answers, no recourse for the cases but isolation. Case numbers are growing all across the planet. Cruise ships have been quarantined. Ports have been shutdown. Many cases, who recovered and released, have returned for medical help after resurrected symptoms. Frankly, the news is bleak, dark, and grave.
In one hundred years, will there be a little kid astounded at the number of tombstones displaying “2020” as a collective death year? Let us all pray this will not be true.
Check out this inspiring picture…
Photo: Western Wall in Jerusalem. Israel National News.
This photo shows a prayer gathering at the sacred Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It’s not the average prayer meeting among the people of Israel, but a poignant one. This shot displays an organized prayer assembly for the COVID-19 victims, as well as, medical organizations working around the clock to defeat it. The question is…why aren’t we doing this?
When Jesus walked the grounds of the ancient temple there in Jerusalem, He saw multitudes of the infected, the “unclean” outcasts due to leprosy. Like the quarantined cases, victims of leprosy were bound by law to keep away from the general public. There were leper colonies where they spent their final days. If one got too close to the general population, he/she had to yell, “UNCLEAN!”. Jesus had great compassion for these unnamed cases. Against the enforced law, He went to them, touched them, healed many, and showed love and grace toward the “Unclean”. Someone who hasn’t read about Jesus, or maybe not have taken the opportunity to study about Him, may be asking why He would do such a thing. It’s a fair question. Why would Jesus risk His own health, and His physical life to see, feel, touch, and heal desperate infected outcasts. After all, it was hopeless, or so they thought. There is an answer.
Have you noticed in this post, when referring to COVID-19 victims, I often use the word, “cases”? For the most part, the media, and the medical community, are doing much of the same when reporting on this expanding concern. Why not? Unlike a little kid looking at the name of John Lee Anderson, son of James & Mary Anderson, who died of influenza at 2 years old in 1918, we see a number. Today we would see the next victim of death in China as 1,401 of 1,401. The dead one (case) is taken outside of town, to a COVID-19 fire dump, where the bodies piled up and burned. So much for #1,401. A cruise ship of 2,000 vacationers may have 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19, quarantined away from shore. No name, no age, no grandma or grandpa of 18 kids back in Knoxville, Tennessee. We are just counting the diagnosis leaving out “who” they are and what they are to the loved ones waiting to hear of their condition.
It’s sad, don’t you think? In these colder times of humanity, we tend to not care of the hurting hearts involved, or the hardships others must take on to themselves.
Jesus saw “the individual” and their need. Being Who He was, He knew their names, their children, their hopes and dreams. He knew intimately little John Lee Anderson from 1918.
Count on this. There are never any “cases”, any “42 0f 57’s” inside fuel for the race.
“And having seen the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were wearied and cast away, as sheep not having a shepherd. Then He says to His disciples, ‘The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the workmen are few.'” – Jesus – Matthew 9:36-37 (Berean Literal Bible)