The day is over and you are driving home. You tune in your radio and hear a little blurp about a village in India where some villagers have died suddenly and strangely of a flu that has never been seen before. It's not influenza, but three or four are dead and it's kind of interesting. They're sending some doctors over there to investigate it.
You don't think much about it, but on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear
another radio spot. Only they say it's not three villagers, it's 30,000
villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it's on TV
that night. CNN runs a little blurp; people are heading there from the disease
center in Atlanta because this disease has never been seen before.
By Monday morning when you get up, it's the lead story. For it's not just India;
it's Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and before you know it, you're hearing this
story everywhere and they have now coined it "the mystery flu". The
President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that
all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, "How are we going
to contain it ?" That's when the President of France makes an announcement
that shocks Europe. He is closing their boarders. No flights from India,
Pakistan, or any of the countries where this thing has been seen.
That night you are watching CNN before going to bed. Your jaw hits your chest
when a weeping woman is translated from a French news program into English:
"There's a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu.
"It has come to Europe. Panic strikes. As best they can tell, once you get
it, you have it for a week and you don't know it. Then you have four days of
unbelievable symptoms. Then you die.
Britain closes its borders, but it's too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North
Hampton, and it's Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes
the following announcement: "Due to a national security risk, all flights
to and from Europe and Asia have been canceled. If your loved ones are overseas,
I'm sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing."
Within four days our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People
are selling little masks for your face. People are talking about what if it
comes to this country, and preachers on Tuesday are saying, "It's the
scourge of God." It's Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer
meeting when somebody runs in from the parking lot and says, "Turn on a
radio, turn on a radio." While the church listens to a little transistor
radio with a microphone stuck up to it, the announcement is made, "Two
women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu."
Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are
working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working.
California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts. It's as though it's just
sweeping in from the borders. Then, all of a sudden the news comes out. The code
has been broken.. A cure
can be found. A vaccine , can be made. It's going to take the blood of someone who hasn't been infected, and so, sure enough, all 1 through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one ~ simple thing: "Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That's all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly, and safely to the hospitals."
Sure enough, when you and your family get there late on Friday night, there is a long line, and they have nurses and doctors coming out and pricking fmgers and taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and your kids are out there, and they take your blood type and say, "Wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name, you can be dismissed and go home." You stand around scared with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on, and if this is the end of the world.
Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He's yelling a
name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your
jacket and says, "Daddy, that's me." Before you know it, they
have grabbed your boy. "Wait a minute, Hold it!" And they say,
"It's okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he
doesn't have the disease. We think he has the right type."
Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and nurses, crying and hugging
one another. Some are even laughing. It's the first time you have seen anybody
laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, "Thank you,
sir. Your son's blood type is perfect. It is clean, it is pure, and we can make
As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people
are screaming and praying and laughing and crying. But then the gray-haired old
doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, "May we see you for a
moment? We didn't realize that the donor would be a minor and we need...we need
you to sign a consent form." You begin to sign and then you see that the
number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. "H-h-h-how may pints?"
And that is when the old doctor's smile fades and he says, "We had no idea
it would be a little child. We weren't prepared. We need it all!" "But
but but..." "You don't understand. We are talking about the world
here. Please sign. We need it all-we need it all!"
"But can't you give him a transfusion?" "If we had clean blood we would. Can you sign? Would you sign?" In numb silence you do. Then they say, "Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?" Can you walk back? Can you walk back to the room where he sits on a table saying, "Daddy? Mommy? What is going on?" Can you take his hands and say, "Son, your mommy and I love you, and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn't just have to be. Do you understand that?"
And when the old doctor comes back in and says, "I'm sorry, we've-we've got
to get started. People all over the world are dying." Can you leave? Can
you walk out while he is saying, "Dad? Mom? Dad? Why have you forsaken
And then next week when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks
sleep through it, and some folks don't even come because they go to the lake,
and some folks come with a pretentious smile and just pretend to care. Would you
want to jump up and say, "MY SON DIED! DON'T YOU CARE?"
Is that what God is saying? "MY SON DIED. DON'T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?" Father, seeing it from your eyes breaks our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great love you have for us. Amen."
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