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Corona virus and the call to risk Christianity

It’s the early hours of the morning and I’m standing in a cholera camp looking at the scene around me. There are people everywhere – on beds, on benches, on the floor, even in wheelbarrows. Sunken eyes look up at me as I look at the line of infusions and give the patient sets, the stench of chlorine lingering in my nose. The number of people is overwhelming – there are around 700 patients in a camp with a capacity of 200 people.

A team of nurses, doctors and medical students walks between them in the hastily set up tents, caring for the sick, eliminating vomit and diarrhea, setting up for some infusions and giving others oral rehydration. A student prays for a particularly sick older man. When I turn around, a 7-year-old is carried in – he looks about four, malnourished, hardly breathing. A cannula stands and we pray that he could live.

I wrote this a little over ten years ago during the cholera crisis in Zimbabwe. 98,585 cases have been reported and more than 4,000 deaths. Healthcare was overwhelmed. And yet something beautiful happened in the middle of the action. Christians stayed and cared for others in the harshest of circumstances. I asked myself, “What drives people to be the hands and feet of Jesus when it might cost them?”

So about our current situation with COVID-19. What could this mean for health professionals in the coming days and weeks? Maybe we risk our mental and physical health; be isolated from our families; being put in unbearable situations and seeing people die of horrific deaths. While we are not called to burn out or be foolish, we may be called to risk ourselves and put others’ needs ahead of our own.

My favorite parable is Matthew 13:44, where Jesus says: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then went in his joy and sold everything he had and bought this field. “

Imagine walking in a field and coming across a treasure that is worth far more than anything you can ever win in this life. More than a home, a family, a good job, even the joy of helping people. And you go home and sell everything to buy this field. People ask you, “What are you doing? What a stupid thing! “But you leave with joy because you have found something that is worth losing everything.

Billy Graham knew the treasure he had found and gave him his life. Before he died, he said: “One day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it I will be more alive than now I will only have changed my address. I will have been in the presence of God. “

Like many who went before him, he had faith in the all-caring, all-satisfying Son of God, Jesus. He knew he was safe; He knew that God was on the throne and ruled over life and death, sickness and health. The reality is that we are safe. Whether in life or in death, we are eternally safe in it (John 10: 28-30).

Every crisis brings with it both a threat and an opportunity. You can’t unravel the two. While threats surround us, people also have opportunities to learn about Christian care. Not only by Christians, perhaps also by non-Christians, who nevertheless carry the image of God and serve by our side and may not recognize the source of their compassion for other image carriers.

So let’s be Christ’s hands and feet and show Him to the world. “Nothing makes the value of Jesus shine brighter than the love of sacrifice for other people in the name of Jesus. If we lay down our lives for the good of others, Jesus will grow taller than anything else. “ (John Piper, Risk is Right, p. 15). “Nobody has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends(John 15:13). Many great men and women have gone before us. Many of them are medical professionals and nurses. Many of the 245 million We have never heard of Christians who have been severely persecuted in the past year. But we will meet them in heaven. Instead of asking, “Why should I take risks for Jesus?” Many of them said, “How can I NOT risk myself for Jesus?”

Back to the cholera camp. I went to a medical student last year who had been co-opted to help him and asked him why he was there. He answered,

“God is not a God who resigns and watches … Jesus is in this cholera camp, in the midst of vomit and diarrhea, full of compassion for these people. I was wondering where Jesus would be at Christmas and I knew he would be here so I wanted to be here too. “

“Because I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future nor any powers Neither height nor depth or anything else in all of creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Romans 8:38).

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